Early detection and bio-control of mushroom pests and diseases in an Integrated Pest Management approach to comply with the European Directive 2009/128/EU

Cultivation of edible mushrooms Agaricus Bisporus in Europe is an economically valuable Industry that employs 50,000 employees with a production 965,000 tonnes and 1,300M Euros sales. Pests and diseases in this industry causes loses of 60M Euros related to Pest control. The main pest insects causing crop losses in Europe are Sciarid flies, whereas the main diseases are the fungus Verticillium, Mycogone, Dactilium and Tricoderma. Many chemicals are no longer approved for use, and with an increased demand for reduced pesticide use. Mushroom growers have an increased pressure to implement these alternatives on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 and Directive 2009/128/EC. Quick actions and IPM solutions are therefore urgently needed for mushroom growers as reported by their national associations in order to adapt to a stringent legislation to reduce pesticide use.

The main aim of BIOMUSH project is to help European mushroom growers to implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM), as part of their growing activities both to comply with the upcoming legislation and to reduce crop losses and production costs by efficiently manage pests and diseases.

In this context, national associations and cooperatives Association Nationale Interprofesionnelle du Champignon de Couche (ANICC; France), Stowarzyszenie Branży Grzybów Uprawnych (SBGU; Poland), Consorzio Funghi di Treviso (FTREV; Italy) and Reciclados de Compost de La Mancha SCL (RECOMSA; Castilla-La Mancha in Spain) met in April 2011 with the European Technical Group and Asociación Profesional de Cultivadores de Champiñón de La Rioja, Navarra y Aragón (ASOCHAMP; Spain) to find solutions for the urgent need for IPM alternatives. Between all of them they came with the idea of BioMush project for an integrated approach for mushroom growers to adapt to a stringent legislation to reduce pesticide use.

Inspiralia will be one of the research centers participating in the project, being in charge of developing the biosensor capable to detect the main fungal diseases in mushroom crops.

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