Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management

As part of the Sustainable Use Directive, the UK government is required to show that UK growers are using integrated pest management practices. The NFU has developed the Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPMP) for the VI.

The VI IPM Plan is available here. Scroll to the bottom of the introductory page to "Complete the Plan".

Scottish growers can alternatively complete the specific Scottish IPM plan. Watch a short video on the Scottish plan here.

Any enquiries about the IPM Plan should be addressed to

Scroll down to read our Frequently Asked Questions as you may find the answer you are looking for.





Q Who should complete this plan?
A The plan should be completed by any farm or nursery enterprise that is using professional pesticides to produce crops, ornamentals, fodder or feed. It is recommended that it should be completed by the owner/farm/nursery manager in collaboration with the sprayer operator and agronomist.

Q Does this affect those who occasionally use professional pesticides and weedkillers? 
A The requirement to implement the principles of IPM under SUD is intended to apply to all users of professional pesticides, whatever the scale or type of enterprise, this includes smallholders and livestock farmers if they use professional pesticides.

Q How often should the IPM plan be completed?
A It is recommended that an IPM plan be completed annually.  Annual completions are a requirement of some farm assurance schemes. Any small changes to the plan made between annual reviews should be recorded on the hard copy, but it is important that the data is resubmitted online annually in order to keep an up to date record of trends in IPM practices to demonstrate progress to regulators.

Q How should the plan be completed?
The plan is available to complete online and has an information button for each question which will direct you to helpful sources of advice and information. Once the plan is completed it can be printed off and will also be e-mailed to the specified e-mail address.

Q What are the benefits?
A There are a number of reasons for completing an IPM plan:

• It will help to demonstrate adherence to the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products identified in cross
   compliance SMR 9.

• It will help as a decision support to for your farm enterprise – identifying opportunities for improvement.
• It will help the agricultural industry demonstrate the good practice of UK growers and support industry schemes to
   improve stewardship and retain crop protection products. 
• It may help meet the requirements of your assurance scheme.

Q Is there anything else I can do to show my adoption of IPM principles?
A The VI recognises the LEAF Sustainable Farming Review (formerly the LEAF Audit) or membership of Conservation Grade as meeting the same requirements.

Q What happens if I have more than one holding?
A There may be a need for farm/nursery businesses with multiple holdings to complete more than one plan if holdings have appreciably different cropping practices. 

Q What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?
The Sustainable Use Directive defines IPM under the following 8 headings the VI believes that most UK growers will be implementing some if not all of these measures depending upon the farm enterprise.

The prevention and/or suppression of harmful organisms should be achieved or supported among other options especially by:

• crop rotation,
• cultivation techniques, 
• use of resistant/tolerant cultivars and standard/certified seed/planting material,
• use of balanced fertilisation, liming and irrigation/drainage practices,
• hygiene measures (e.g. cleansing of machinery)
• protection and enhancement of important beneficial organisms,
• Monitoring of Harmful organisms
• Application of plant protection based on monitoring data
• Use of biological, physical and other non-chemical methods must be preferred to chemical methods if they provide
   satisfactory pest control.
• Application of pesticide should be as Targeted as possible.
• The professional user should keep the use of pesticides and other forms of intervention to levels that are
   necessary and that do not increase the risk for development of resistance in populations of harmful organisms.
• Anti-resistance strategies should be applied to maintain the effectiveness of the products.
• Review the success of plant protection measures.

Q Will the requirement be included in cross compliance or any other legal requirements?
A The principles of IPM as defined by SUD will be included in the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products which is referenced in general cross compliance SMR 9 as the basis of good crop protection and use of PPPs.  So complying with the general principles of IPM as defined in SUD will be part of demonstrating compliance.  In addition the IPM plan replaces the Crop Protection Management Plan for those required to complete these as part of agri-environment schemes.

Q How is the data used?
The data from this plan is stored and collated for The Voluntary Initiative by the NFU. The data is stored on a secure network by the NFU. It is used to demonstrate the implementation of IPM practices in the farming industry. Only summaries of overall practices across agriculture will be taken from the data submitted. At no point will individual data on farm businesses be used, reviewed or published by VI or any other organisation.

Q How do I save the IPM plan?
A Once you have completed the plan it will offer you the opportunity to print out the completed version, it will also send a PDF of the completed plan to your e-mail address to file.  

Q Is there a version of the IPM plan for livestock farmers?
A The plan can be tailored to the enterprise and any information not relevant to livestock farms can be ignored. An example plan is provided that illustrates how a livestock farmer might complete the plan.  

Q Do members of Farm Assurance schemes need to complete the IPM plan?
A Yes, the plan is being included as a recommendation in farm assurance schemes, as an approach to meeting the requirements of the Sustainable Use Directive.   

Q Are there alternative plans for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
A Scotland now has a specific Scottish IPM plan. The VI IPM plan is relevent to farmers across the UK except for questions 13-15 which are relevant to England only and can be left unanswered.

Q What is a professional pesticide?
A Professional pesticides include herbicides (weed killers), slug pellets (molluscicides), fungicide sprays and insecticides. The difference between amateur and professional pesticides is that those that are classified as ‘professional’ are intended for use in commercial situations rather than for home and garden use. By law professional pesticides can only be used by those who hold a certificate of competence.

Q Should the IPM plan be completed by users of knapsack sprayers? 
A The plan is a voluntary measure so the final choice is down to the individual and the needs of their enterprise. Using a knapsack sprayer to spot treat weeds for example involves risks that need to be recognised and managed.  Opportunities may also exist to improve weed management with integrated approaches and the IPM plan may encourage growers to consider if an integrated approach will give better results.   

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