Risk perception, crop protection and plant disease in the UK wheat sector

Ilbery, Brian W and Maye, Damian and Ingram, Julie and Little, Ruth (2013) Risk perception, crop protection and plant disease in the UK wheat sector. Geoforum, 50. pp. 129-137. ISSN 00167185

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Abstract

While plant diseases have been the subject of scientific research, little is known about the perceptions of key actors towards plant disease risk within specific food sectors. Drawing on concepts of risk and uncertainty, and using in-depth interviews, this paper examines the ways in which endemic plant disease risks in the UK wheat sector are perceived and managed by key 'upstream' and 'downstream' businesses, as well as by farmers and agronomists. A majority of interviewees feel that plant disease is a controllable risk and one that rests mainly at the point of production (i.e. with farmers) within the wheat sector. This assumed 'control' is based mainly around the availability of plant protection products (e.g. fungicides) which reduce the sense of risk attributable to outbreaks of plant disease. As a consequence, there can be a tendency to grow higher-yielding wheat varieties that are less disease-resistant. The potential banning of certain fungicides under EU legislation and climate change are perceived future threats that could increase uncertainty and change the balance between 'control' and 'resistance', the latter through the use of more disease-resistant wheat varieties. Further research is needed on the perceived impacts of plant diseases and on how different wheat sector actors will contribute to the future control of plant diseases and the development of more integrated systems of plant disease management

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission. Risk, Uncertainty, Plant disease, Crop protection, Control, Resistance, UK wheat sector, Food Security, Animal-Disease, Biosecurity, Perspectives, Management, Pathogens, Feelings, Context, Science, Threat
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Debi Jones-Davis
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2014 07:46
Last Modified: 23 May 2016 14:21
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/425

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