EuroBlight workshop 9-12 May, 2021 in Ascona, Switzerland

The local host is Agroscope, the Swiss Confederation’s center of excellence for research and development in agriculture, food and the environment. The workshop will be held at the stunning Monte Verità, in the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland.

22.09.2020 | Jens Grønbech Hansen

Monte Verità stands on the hills overlooking Ascona and Lake Maggiore and has always been a magnet for ideas, trends, experiments and historical figures.

Scope of the workshop

The Euroblight recommendations resulting from the workshop held in York in 2019 were:

That global efforts to monitor pathogen population changes should be continued and where possible, new markers closely predictive of specific phenotype should be developed. The global data set should be compiled and collated into an integrated database along with information on fungicide use and cultivar deployment. Representatives from sister networks participated and expressed their interest in global collaboration with Euroblight in a "network of networks" EuroBlight is willing to collaborate with AsiaBlight, Tizon Latino, USABlight and AfricaBlight to build capacity to establish regional infrastructures for continuous population monitoring.

Faced with increasingly stringent regulations on pesticide approval and use and a desire to meet Integrated Pest Management targets, EuroBlight strongly recommends that efforts to develop, assess and implement innovative technologies are strengthened. 

EuroBlight considers that a participatory, multi-actor approach is necessary to deliver tangible improvements and a long-term strategy for the control of late and early blight. For this to be achieved, attention should be given to efficient networking activities and the development of shared resources. Integrated strategies for the simultaneous control of early and late blight will be important

The European Green Deal is EUs roadmap for making the EU's economy sustainable. This will happen by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the transition just and inclusive for all. The commissions Farm to Fork Strategy was launched on 20 May, 2020, and The Commission will take actions to:

  • reduce by 50% the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 2030.

  • reduce by 50% the use of more hazardous pesticides by 2030.

The Commission will boost the development of EU organic farming area with the aim to achieve (25 % of total farmland) under organic farming by 2030.

What does it mean for IPM in potatoes? EuroBlight will take the challenge and initiate the development, analysis and test of innovative scenarios for the development of a sustainable control of late blight and early blight in Europe

We will discuss this in Ascona.

Important themes for the workshop in Switzerland will be:

  • Fungicide resistance avoidance strategies and use of alternative products to control late blight and early blight

  • Exploiting knowledge of the host, the pathogens and the interactions for improved control strategies and DSSs

  • Precision agriculture - success stories and how to break barriers

  • Global issues - how can a global view of pathogen information help the individual farmer?

Outline of the workshop

There will be a maximum of 60-80 participants depending on the Coronavirus situation. Participants offering an oral or poster presentation will be prioritized and in particular early career scientists.

The workshop will start on Sunday 9 May. Presentations will be grouped in five plenary sessions on Monday and Tuesday morning. Then the workshop will split into three subgroups on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, covering further short presentations but also discussion about new research questions, issues about harmonising protocols, trials plans and new initiatives.

Registration will open on the EuroBlight website on on 15 December, 2020

If we decide to postpone the workshop until 2022 due to the rsisks of Coronavirus, we will organise a series of subgroup web workshops during the period from December until May 2021. During one or two days in May we will then organise a EuroBlight online workshop covering feedback from the subgroup web workshops, some selected presentations related to the themes of the workshop and plenum discussions.

Read more about the workshop here

Local host

Agroscope is the Swiss Confederation’s center of excellence for research and development in agriculture, food and the environment. The institution provides solutions for a resilient agriculture and food systems, a healthy diet based on high-quality food and an intact environment for the benefit of society, policy-makers and practitioners. The institute is allocated to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.

About the Venue

Since 1989, The Congressi Stefano Franscini, a division of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETH Zürich), uses the facilities at the Conference Centre Monte Verità to provide a venue for world-famous seminars and conferences.

Situated in a quiet historical park on a beautiful hill top above the lake town of Ascona in southern Switzerland, in the heart of Europe, Monte Verità is the ideal retreat: a place for reflection and discussion, introspection and creativity, relaxation and activity, surrounded by nature and steeped in history, catering for every need. Monte Verità promotes physical and mental well-being and is the ideal setting for organizing meetings, developing ideas and holding talks: the place has attracted many writers, intellectuals, artists, and political and economic exponents over the years.
The exact address is:

Monte Verità
Via Collina 84
6612 Ascona, Switzerland.

Contact

EuroBlight is coordinated by Jens G. Hansen, Aarhus University, Alison Lees, James Hutton Institute and Geert Kessel, Wageningen University.

Faculty of Technical Sciences