Carrots & Parsnips - Developing a strategy to control Free Living Nematodes


Summary: In the context of pesticide removal due to EU legislation, free-living nematodes (FLN) pose a potential serious constraint to agricultural and horticultural production. Whilst considerable focus in recent years in the UK has centred on the impact of FLN on potatoes and to a lesser extent soft fruit, few studies have considered the impact of FLN on vegetables, specifically carrots and parsnips. As rotations frequently include crops that are excellent hosts for FLN, thus building a larger inoculum for the next potentially susceptible crop, a reduction of deployable management options is problematic. Coupled with a reduction in the national capacity to correctly identify the relevant damaging species of FLN, the UK carrot and parsnip industry has potential to be exposed once Vydate is removed from the market. The proposed two-stage study will, initially through a literature review, i) identify and prioritise key FLN relevant to the target crops; ii) consider the robustness of available FLN diagnostics; iii) assess potential management tools (e.g. in-field mapping, alternative control measures) and iv) learn from knowledge associated with similar crops and other markets. Such information will form the basis of recommendations to develop and deploy control strategies for FLN in carrots and parsnips.

Project code:
FV 447
01 March 2016 - 01 September 2016
AHDB Horticulture
AHDB sector cost:
Project leader:


FV 447_Report_Final_2016 FV 447_GS_Final_2016

About this project

Aims and Objective: 


  1. A holistic synthesis review of the scientific and grey literature, building upon a previous review (FV 232), to ascertain a rounded understanding of the current knowledge of FLN associated with carrots and parsnips targeted to a range of stakeholders;
  2. Present a robust and effective management strategy or strategies to manage FLN to facilitate sustainable UK carrot and parsnip production including recommendations for future research and knowledge transfer.


1. Collate published global scientific literature by interrogating scientific databases such as Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar and published grey literature by interrogating policy databases e.g. European Union and discussions with national stakeholders.

2. Synthesis, analysis and interpretation of data collected in objectives 1.

3.  Farm visits as stipulated in the call scope.

4. Based on data from Objectives 1-3, develop a strategy for managing FLN to underpin long-term sustainable UK production of carrots/parsnips.

5. Report findings of a SWOT analysis highlighting opportunities for future research and knowledge transfer.

6.  Produce article for AHDB Grower and hold meeting with AHDB Horticulture staff and industry representatives.

7. Engage with AHDB Horticulture/Field Vegetables Panel members to discuss KT outputs out with the grant period.