Crop Pathogens, Pests and Weeds  
                    The Centre for Sustainable Communities
Crop Pathogens, Pests and Weeds
About the course

There is a global need to increase food security in a sustainable manner as outlined by Sir John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Advisor (2008-2013), when he referred to the 'perfect storm' and the interconnections between food production, energy use and water supply in the context of climate change. Crop pathogens, pests and weeds can reduce crop yields in the region of 25 %, and on individual areas of land by 100%, and therefore their management is a key component of food security. This course is designed to introduce students to the biology of crop pathogens, pests and diseases and the methods by which they can be characterised and quantified.

The course will include

The biology of some common crop diseases (fungal, virus, bacterial), pests (insects, nematodes) and weeds and explain how they cause losses in crop yields in geographically diverse agricultural environments. It will describe the development of disease epidemics and pest outbreaks. The module will introduce the student to diagnostic methods (macroscopic, microscopic, immunological and molecular), including Koch's postulates to identify and confirm the identity of the causal pest, pathogen or weed. It will discuss the relationships between macro and micro climate in relation to agronomic factors and epidemic development. The use of decision support systems to reduce the impact of pests, weeds and diseases will be included. Threats posed by invasive pests, weeds and pathogens will be considered, in relation to trade in plant products and climate change.

The course will be run by crop protection specialists Drs Avice Hall, Ian Denholm and Keith Davies based at the University of Hertfordshire and Dr Jonathan Storkey based at Rothamsted Research. Short course students will be given a CD containing course lecture material.

This course is suitable for:

  • Those wishing to acquaint themselves with knowledge of crop pathogens, pests and weeds and their effects on crop production. Those already working in the industry and wish to continue their professional development (BASIS CPD points will be awarded to those attending).


Dr Keith Davies
Module Leader Crop Protection, School of Life and Medical Sciences

2 - 4 Jun 2016

College Lane Campus, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
AL10 9AB

Link to campus map.

 Booking and fees

The fee is £360. No VAT is charged on this course. The price includes all the course materials, lunch and refreshments.

To book this course, please follow the link for
Online Booking

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