In December 10 -14th, School visited partners within the EMPHASIS project in Catalonia and Spain. At the request of colleagues at the University of Lleida, http://www.udl.cat/, School representatives gave a lecture to Master students and professors "Practical solutions and experience transfer options for EU pathosystems. EMPHASIS project (IPM and way of discovery. Heracleum ssp. Strategies for honey bees and oil seed growers. Ash dieback and relations to olive trees.)”. Visited trials and got information on achievements (within EMPHASIS H2020 and Euclid projects) and visited a 2000ha grape farm. Inspected almond, olive, peach and other fruit plantations, maize, etc.crops. Evaluated most important harmful organisms in these crops, IPM, cultivation and fertilization technologies.

In Almeria got information on achievements and lecture at partner Agrobío, and the representatives of the School shared the topics of the research work “Practical solutions and experience transfer options for EU pathosystems. EMPHASIS project.” Visited the Agrobío plant with production of bumble bees and benefical insects and the greenhouses of tomato and paprika with integrated pest management.



On October 8-10, within the framework of the EMPHASIS project, the School visited its partners in the United Kingdom.

In Cambridge at NIAB (http://www.niab.com/ ), they were introduced to the most important rapeseed pests and trials, partner’s achievements in companion crops and listened to the lecture.

In York at FERA (www.fera.co.uk) School viisited the laboratory and a farm with area of 3000 ha where they surveyed winter oilseed rape at various stages of development. At the request of FERA colleagues, School made presentation "Practical solutions and knowledge transfer options for EU pathosystems. EMPHASIS project (Heracleum spp.. IPM and OSR seedling insects). School thanks UK Colleagues for a target oriented and warm welcome.


On 25th October School participated in the 3rd International Conference: “Sustainable management of Natural resources as an impetus for the economic development of the countries of the Baltic Sea region, which was organized by association "Latvian Forest Certification Council" (LFCC), University of Daugavpils, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”.

The School finish and submitted two studies at the beginning of September of practical solutions for the EMPHASIS project on root rot of conifers (Heterobasidion spp.) in the forestry. The research includes achievements by Latvian scientists (LSFRI Silava) on eradication of this economically important disease and critical periods of the infection in Latvian conditions as well as new options for control of this disease from trials and studies carried out in the project.



The School finished the research and submitted practical solutions and conclusions in August for EMPHASIS project on ash dieback for ash tree in the urban environment.



Participants of the XXVI General Latvian Song and Dance festival in July entwined biological diversity of Latvia into their wreaths. Congratulations to everyone on occasion of Latvia hundred years anniversary.



Within the framework of the EMPHASIS project, the School has developed and presented guidelines for the eradication of hogweed (Heracleum spp.) using integrated pest management methods (IPM). IPM Guidelines (page 16-62) provides practical and effective solutions for hogweed control in Latvia and other Europe countries. Guidelines present also trial results from Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic 2015-2017.  

Hogweed are included in updated EU List of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern .



Drought and high temperature in May have beneficially affected the massive proliferation of some pests. Especially in the urban environment small ermine moth (Yponomeuta spp.) larvae (Fig. 2) infested trees and shrubs (apple trees, rowans, plums, cotoneasters, hawthorns (Fig. 4), bird cherries etc.) unusual for Latvian conditions. Weather conditions are also favourable for Scarabaeidae beetles like Flower scarab (Oxythyrea funesta), garden chafer (Phyllopertha horticola), cockchafers (Melolontha spp.) etc., which are currently feeding and preparing for egg laying (Fig. 1 and 3). Similarly, Lily leaf beetles (Lilioceris lili) (Fig. 5) and other pests. It is important to evaluate the weather conditions for the possible proliferation of pests and to take preventive measures.



From 26 to 27 April in Brussels, the EMPHASIS project partners had 5th meeting with the participation of the project EC officer and external reviewers. The second project review meeting provided an opportunity to assess the progress of the project work plan, the implementation of the goals and objectives between September 2016 and February 2018. The School representatives participated at the meeting, presenting the results of the previous reporting period (19-36 months) and the planned activities at the final stage of the project.


On 25th of April School took part in "H2020 projects for evidence-based agricultural related policies" roundtable at EU Parliament (Brussels) organized by the EMPHASIS project and EUCLID project http://www.euclidipm.org/, hosted by European Parliament Member Mr. Giovanni La Via (Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety).




On March 12 in Jelgava (Latvia University of Agriculture) the School introduced the students of the Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) to the EMPHASIS project and the possibilities of hogweed eradication using the IPM method. Studying the international and national forest policy, master students from 18 countries of the world (Sweden, Lithuania, Brazil, Romania, USA, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Spain, China, Iceland, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Canada, Estonia, Australia, Italy and Latvia) have arrived to Latvia due to experience exchange study trip.