SLU news

Joint action against the carrot psyllid

Published: 28 December 2011

Researchers from SLU, together with advisors and growers are going to develop a control strategy against the carrot psyllid. Among other things, they will find out which carrot variety works best as a catch crop and if the placement of the carrot cultivation can be used as control strategy.

Carrot is the largest garden crop in Sweden. A major problem is the serious pest carrot psyllid. The starting point of a new research project in which farmers, advisors and researchers from SLU cooperate, is to grow a catch crop that attracts carrot psyllid away from the main crop.

The catch crop is an attractive carrot variety grown earlier than the main crop, and also in another place. The project will find out what carrot varieties work best as catch crops and also if the carrot psyllid is found on wild plants and on nearby parsnip and dill cultivations. It will further investigate a control strategy without catch crops where the cultivation is separated from past cultivation sites and from the carrot psyllid wintering area.

The carrot psyllid sucks nutrients from the leaves and sprays simultaneously a poison into the plant. This makes the leaves misshapen and the quality of carrots to deteriorate.

The project is co-financed by the Foundation for Agricultural Research and the Swedish Research Council Formas with 3 million SEK distributed over three years.

The project has received funding in the Foundation for Agricultural Research’s programme for horticulture. The program is funded by the reversal of environmental taxes. The results of the utility-driven research will provide new insights for Swedish farmers and eventually lead to increased economic growth and competitiveness.