Fungicides and Pest Management

Sometimes, we need to use fungicides and insecticides to protect our crops. These are carefully managed and only applied when completely necessary. We don’t use any broad-spectrum insecticides – they have not been used for more than a decade at Stocks Farm.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is crucial to reduce the amount of pesticides required. One example are the mating disruptors for codling moths which are used across our orchards to reduce the pest thresholds. By reducing the population, we negate the need to spray. We are currently involved in a new Innovative Farmer’s project to reduce the number of spider mite in our hop yards, details of which can be found HERE. All of the IPM practices we undertake are to reduce our pesticide use as much as we can.

We invested in a three row apple orchard sprayer in 2019 which means when we do need to spray the crops, we travel on only one row, leaving two filled with a wildflower mix perfect for attracting wildlife, and increasing biodiversity within the orchards by leaving more areas undisturbed for longer. The sprayer is predominantly spraying fungicides in the growing season – these are not harmful to insects – targetting fungal growths only (e.g, mildews and scab.)