Latest News

The anti-ageing wonder of cucumber

Sometimes, the simpler things in life are all you need to turn the clo...

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Why are my cucumbers shrink wrapped?

A number of enquiries are received about the use of shrink wrap on cuc...

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Why do my cucumbers go rotten in the fridge?

According to a survey in Which magazine the second most likely item to...

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Current Projects


Our current research effort is largely directed towards Mycosphaerella. The HDC funded project (PE 001) involving STC, ADAS and the University of Worcester is in its second year and we look forward to an update on its progress towards a cost-effective solution to the problem at our Technical Conference on 5 October 2011.


For many years the control of spider mites on conventional cucumber crops was successfully based on a combination of the predatory mite, Phytoseiulus persimilis, and the target specific acaricide, fenbutatin oxide (Torq). The predators provided season-long control while the acaricide was used as a “second line of defence” to slow down the pest population growth when conditions provided it with an advantage over the predator. Fenbutatin oxide has now been withdrawn from the market and Phytoseiulus rarely provides cost-effective control of spider mites when used alone. A replacement second line of defence is urgently required.

Between 1996 and 2003, the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, was extensively trialed against a wide range of pests which attack UK cucumber and tomato crops. The results to 2000 were collated in an HDC summary report (PC 180). Subsequent HDC funded work (PC 163) showed that the product, Naturalis-L, could provide a substantial reduction in spider mite numbers. A current HDC funded project (PC299) is exploring the potential of Beauveria bassiana to become the replacement second line of defence treatment

Beauveria on spider mite