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Minimising pesticide use and environmental impact by the development and promotion of bio-control strategies for oilseed rape pests

Contract nr: FAIR-CT96-1314
Project nr: 1314
Project type: CA
Starting date: 01/01/1997
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 130,000 EUR
EC Contribution: 130,000 EUR
Scientific Officer: Arnaud BORCHARD
Research topic: Plant health
Acronym: BORIS

BORIS (Bio-control of Oilseed Rape Insect PestS), aimed to co-ordinate, for the benefit of the environment and agriculture in Europe, current and future studies on enhancing the effectiveness of natural enemies of oilseed rape (OSR) insect pests, and thereby minimise reliance on pesticides. Specifically, BORIS aimed:

  • to establish a network and provide a forum for information and technological exchange;
  • to coordinate and exploit existing knowledge on natural enemies of OSR pests for the overall benefit of the environment and landscape structures;
  • to coordinate and prioritise future research effort on natural enemies of OSR pests, and to minimise duplication of effort;
  • to devise strategies for farmers to exploit natural enemies and thereby minimise and better rationalise pesticide use on OSR;
  • to disseminate results and provide practical guidance to national extension services and regulatory authorities;

to publish a review in the scientific press within which methodologies and strategies will be identified.

Year 1
1. Under the guidance of a small (3-person) steering group, to plan and co-ordinate a detailed 3-year programme of winter workshops and summer meetings.
2. At an initial winter workshop:
a) to review the status of knowledge on natural enemies, and plan and discuss future group activities;
b) to discuss requirements for the development and EU-wide harmonisation of monitoring methodologies for OSR pests and their natural enemies;
c) to establish a regular newsletter in order to disseminate group activities to a wider audience.
3. To hold a summer meeting, concentrating on parasitoids, at which participants would:
a) share technical knowledge, with the aim of standardising methodologies and identifying ways of minimising pesticide use;
b) arrange the collection and exchange of bio-control material for reference purposes;
C) identify and help develop relevant taxonomic expertise on the natural enemies of OSR pests.

Year 2

1. To develop a centralised database on OSR pests and their natural enemies.
2. To hold a winter workshop, with particular reference to the assessment of the effectiveness of natural enemies and bio-control potential for minimising pesticide use.
3. To hold a summer meeting, concentrating on predators.

Year 3

1. To hold a winter workshop to identify sustainable bio-control strategies which take account of landscape structure. The relevance to ICM, and the environmental benefits of such strategies, will also be considered.
2. To hold a summer meeting, concentrating on pathogens.
3. To hold a final review meeting, to collate group findings and recommendations.
4. To ensure maximum publicity for the group findings and conclusions, to co-ordinate presentation of results and recommendations, and to prioritise and make recommendations for future collaborative research.

Current situation/results:
The project is now completed and the draft Final Report written. This was sent to the Commission in January 2000.
All activities were conducted as planned, and the projected progress made in all areas.
Specifically, information on the key areas of parasitoids, predators and pathogens of oilseed rape pests were collated and current knowledge reviewed. Other related topics reviewed included:
side-effects of pesticides on beneficial organisms;
on-farm landscape structural elements and their potential for the biological control of oilseed rape pests;
the bio-control of insect pests of oilseed rape in relation to integrated crop management and environmental benefits;
strategies for exploiting natural enemies.
A network of scientists was established, information disseminated by regular Newsletters (now replaced by information on the Internet, via the BORIS home-page), and a newly developed database established (also accessible via the Internet).
Rather than publish a scientific review (final objective), a scientific monograph will be published and this is currently in hand.
Research priorities have been reviewed and prioritised.


David Victor ALFORD
(formerly ADAS)
Orchard House
Oakington Road 14
Dry Drayton
UK-CB3 8DD Cambridgeshire
Tel.: +44 1954 78 97 90
Fax: +44 1954 78 97 90


  • Rudolf BÜCHI
    Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture
    Reckenholzstraße 191-211
    CH-8046 Zürich
    Tel.: +41 1 377 72 24
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  • Bernd ULBER
    Georg-August Universität Göttingen
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    Tel.: +49 551 39 37 25
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  • Yannick BALLANGER
    CETIOM - Centre Technique Interprofessionnel des Oleagineux Metropolitains
    Centre de Grignon
    BP No. 4
    F-78850 Thiverval - Grignon
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    Fax: +33 1 30 79 95 90

  • Christer NILSSON
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
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  • Bernhard KROMP
    Ludwig-Boltzmann Institute for Biological Agriculture and Applied Ecology (LBIBA)
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    A-1110 Vienna
    Tel.: +43 1 795 149 7943
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  • Wolfgang BÜCHS
    Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
    Messeweg 11-12
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  • Lars Monrad HANSEN
    Danish Institute of Plant and Soil Science
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    DK-2800 Lingby
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  • Ingrid Helvi WILLIAMS
    UK-AL5 2JQ Hertfordshire
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    CSL - Central Science Laboratory
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  • Alan LANE
    UK-WV6 8TQ Wolverhampton
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  • Barbara EKBOM
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
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  • Heikki HOKKANEN
    University of Helsinki
    Department of Applied Zoology
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    Fax: +358 9 708 54 63
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