Plant raider

2019-03-07 05:02:02

By Duncan Graham-Rowe VIRTUAL plants crawling with simulated bugs are the latest weapon for researchers waging war on crop pests. Studying the shape of these virtual plants could help cut the use of pesticides while keeping pests at bay, says David Skirvin of Horticulture Research International in Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. Skirvin and his team are studying the way pests and their natural predators move through a crop. They hope to find the most effective predators to act as biological controls. The researchers are focusing on the shape of the “canopy” formed by leaves of a field full of plants,