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24 May 2023

SLU: Crop protection futures in agriculture

Photo by DESPIERRES Cécile/ Pexels

Crop production is the vital basis for our food system, but the current set up is highly dependent on inputs of chemical pesticides and mineral fertilisers. Crop protection researchers, experts and other interested parties from all over Europe will gather in Uppsala to discuss strategies for crop protection with few or no chemical pesticides to make cropping more robust, resource-efficient and environmentally friendly.

European and global food production face major challenges which call for impact assessments and coordination of knowledge, innovation and transformation. Crop production is the vital basis for our food system, but our current cropping system is highly dependent on inputs of chemical pesticides and mineral fertilisers. The inputs have a negative impact on human health and the environment and the systems are vulnerable to long and broken supply chains, climate change and pest outbreaks. Cropping needs to become more robust, resource-efficient and environmentally friendly.

To make cropping sustainable, it is paramount to maintain plant health and minimize crop losses due to pests, diseases and weeds – problems that are expected to increase with climate change in present cropping systems. Fewer and fewer chemical pesticides are available to the farmers as they are phased out and few new reaches the market. No new modes of action of pesticides have been discovered (none since 1994), and pests and weeds are ever more resistant to available pesticides.

Ambitious plans are put in place for decreased pesticide use and risks, such as the EU Farm to Fork strategy. These shifts pose challenges, but also open opportunities for productive, competitive and sustainable food production.

On 24 May 2023 the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) hosts an afternoon event with discussions on the future of crop protection in agriculture. The focus will be on recent achievements, future solutions and ways forward. The discussions will feed into current developments related to crop protection and pesticide use within the European Union. The event will be proceeded by a side event before lunch with speed talks and networkning. The day after, on 25 May, there is an opportunity to participate in an excursion to SLU’s research field site Lövsta and to Linnaeus’ Hammarby, the summer house of Carl von Linnaeus built in 1762.

More information and registration link here.


Wednesday 24 May 2023, 9:00 – 12:00 (Side event)

  • Speed talks on crop protection research (TBD)


Wednesday 24 May 2023, 12:00 – 17:30

12:00 Registration, lunch and mingle

13:00 Introduction

13:30 Scientific achievements and knowledge needs

14:45 Foresight report

15:15 Fika

15:45 Knowledge and dialogue on science, farming and food

16.40 Final reflections

17:15 Summary and conclusions


Thursday 25 May 9:00 – 13:00 (Side event)


From 24 May 2023 to 25 May 2023


Hybrid: Live in Uppsala and digital webinar