Integrated Pest Management and the VI IPM Plans
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.
Complete your new IPM Plan
If your farm or nursery enterprise uses professional pesticides to produce crops, specialist horticultural crops, ornamentals, fodder or feed including grassland and pasture, it’s time to fill in your integrated pest management (IPM) plan.
The Voluntary Initiative have worked with the NFU to replace the current IPM Plan with an improved plan that will develop users IPM practises and help inform future policy. The new plan will continue to help farmers meet the requirements of the Sustainable Use Directive, which requires professional users of pesticides to consider the principles of IPM before the use of chemicals.
Please complete this IPM plan if you farm any combinable crops.
Please complete this IPM plan if you farm grassland or forage, as a main crop.
Please complete this IPM plan if you grow specialist horticulture crops.
The new plan will provide users with scores for the different components of IPM, enabling improvements to be measured.
The plans should take approximately 30 minutes to complete and still counts towards BASIS/NRoSO accreditation:
- BASIS: please email the completed plan to email@example.com, with the reference number CP/101097/2021/h and your BASIS membership number.
- NRoSO: please email the completed plan to firstname.lastname@example.org with reference number NO464824g, your NRoSO membership number and date of birth.
Completing the plans offline
You can also download the new IPM plans to complete offline. Please note that you will not receive an IPM score if completing the plan this way, although it will still be eligible for BASIS/NRoSO accreditation. Please email completed forms to email@example.com
For farmers in Scotland
Read our Frequently Asked Questions as you may find the answer you are looking for.
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.
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.
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.
The plan is available to complete online and is designed to be easy to understand and complete.
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 10 (Previously 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.
The VI recognises the LEAF Sustainable Farming Review (formerly the LEAF Audit) or membership of Conservation Grade as meeting the same requirements.
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.
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.
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 10 (previously 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.
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.
If you are an NFU Member, you can part complete, save and revisit your IPM Plan before completion. Non-NFU members should complete the IPM Plan during one sitting. Once you have completed the plan it will offer you the opportunity to print out the completed version and also to send a PDF of the completed plan to your email address.
A plan specific to grassland-only businesses is in development. Please continue to complete the original assessment plan, which can be found here. 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.
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.
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.
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.