The 5th International Symposium of Biofumigation takes place at a time when crop managers are seeking alternative strategies to reduce pesticide use. Research on biofumigation was initially driven by the need to counteract the phase out of the soil fumigant methyl bromide in accordance to theMontreal Protocol on ‘Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol)’ and the ‘Clean Air Act’ (CAA). Further losses in pesticides are highly likely under reformed EU pesticide legislation which is based on hazard, thereby eliminating active ingredients with high toxicity. Additionally, pesticide usage is under pressure from stringent supermarket protocols, minimum residue limits (MRLs), environmental stewardship and public opinion.
Biofumigation, using brassica cover crops or preserved brassica formulations with high glucosinolate content offers an attractive crop protection solution. In addition to the recorded suppression of a range of pests, diseases and weeds, the practice has a positive impact on soil fertility and structure.
Much of the research is this area is multifaceted, drawing expertise from a range of disciplines. The 5th International Symposium of Biofumigation provides a unique opportunity for researchers, crop managers, agronomists and seed suppliers to meet and discuss new developments in this rapidly evolving area.