CLI­MATE CHANGE COULD CAUSE ‘EX­PLO­SION OF PESTS’

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS -

IN­CREASED tem­per­a­tures and longer grow­ing sea­sons that could be on the hori­zon as a re­sult of cli­mate change would lead to in­creased in­ci­dents of dis­eases in crops and cost im­pli­ca­tions for farm­ers.

Met Eire­ann’s Sea­mus Walsh said re­cently that av­er­age tem­per­a­tures in Ire­land would rise by 1.5 de­grees in the years ahead.

He said this would lead to less frost and more record high tem­per­a­tures and also an in­creased grow­ing sea­son of 30-40 days.

Tea­gasc’s Michael Hen­nessy said while he doesn’t see this as a prob­lem of the near fu­ture, he said that warmer tem­per­a­tures and an in­creased grow­ing sea­son would lead to an “ex­plo­sion” of pes­ti­cides and in­sects in Ir­ish crops.

“It would change the crop mix but I don’t think it would hap­pen in the short or even medium term.

“In the long term it’s a trend that may oc­cur,” he said.

“If we get warmer con­di­tions it would lead to more in­sects, pes­ti­cides and dis­ease and would make grow­ing sit­u­a­tions more dif­fi­cult.

“When weather gets warmer you could see BYDV in­fect­ing crops, and you’d be more likely to get an ex­plo­sion of pests like bean wee­vil in the bean crop. There would be a lot of chal­lenges and def­i­nite cost im­pli­ca­tions down the line if this was to hap­pen.”

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