France: Research to fight lavender diseases
The culture of lavender and lavandin has been a traditional activity in South-East France for several centuries and is today part of some of the most scenic landscapes of the Provence region. However, this emblematic crop is threatened by diseases, pests and by the effects of climate change.
Cecidomyia (midge) is one of the major pests of lavender and lavandin. This insect’s larvae feed on the sap of the plant and cause a progressive desiccation of affected branches. The damage is cumulative over years and significantly reduces the productivity and lifespan of affected plants. The phytosanitary product currently used to contain cecidomyia is being challenged and so there is a need to develop alternative natural solutions.
We support CRIEPPAM, a research organisation specialising in aromatic, fragrant and medicinal plants, in its efforts to develop new approaches based on a better understanding of the insect’s life cycle.
More frequent drought periods induced by climate change is another challenge for lavender and lavandin producers.
We support ITEIPMAI, the French research institute for perfume, medicinal and aromatic plants, in its programme to develop a turnkey tool to monitor the agronomic effects of water stress in the lavender and lavandin fields. This decision support system could become an efficient solution for producers in the water management of their crop. This could also enable the evaluation of the development of standard indicators to monitor the evolution of climate change.