Final Activity Report: The objective of REPCO was to contribute to the replacement of copper fungicides in organic agriculture by new measures for control of downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) in grapevine and scab (Venturia inaequalis) in apple. Both major European organic crops strongly depend on copper fungicides. Permitted amounts will be reduced stepwise in the years ahead (Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/91, Annex II) to avoid environmental risks. In European countries where copper fungicides are already out of use, production of organic apples suffers severe economic problems because of insufficient scab control. Potentiators of resistance, organically based fungicides and biocontrol agents have been screened and evaluated in grapevine and apple. The risk of pathogen evolution during use of novel control measures has been estimated to enable the development of sustainable strategies. Effects of crop management practices in organic agriculture on overwintering of Venturia inaequalis were assessed. Novel disease control measures and knowledge have been integrated into organic management systems. 'Pipeline' products already under development elsewhere have been included and where necessary optimised in their use. Implementation by end-users and industries qualified for commercialisation of project findings has strongly been emphasised. Small-medium enterprises (SME) as project partners ensured a strong link between end-users and research. At the end of the project several compounds and biocontrol agents can be delivered to qualified industries for development of products for use in organic agriculture. Additionally, knowledge of integrated use of control measures can be delivered to organic growers. The project results thus strongly support EU policies to replace the use of copper fungicides in organic agriculture in the near future.
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