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.



On February 22 School participated in the conference "Balanced Agriculture" in the Latvian University of Agriculture with a poster "Containment of hogweed using integrated pest management methods. EMPHASIS project". The poster of the School was voted by the participants of the conference as the best one from 30 posters at the conference.


In November (2017), the School launched professional development program "Integrated Pest Management" and during the first group’s the program accreditation was held, which was evaluated by accreditation until year 2024. On February 15,the first students of the new program received certificates. Congratulations!


On February 12 (Brno/Czech Republic), in the workshop on invasive species hosted by Mendelu University in co-operation with the Member of the European Parliament Pavel Pod, the School participated with a previously send poster and presentation "Hogweed / Heracleum containment with integrated pest managament (IPM) method 2015-2017".



On January 22, in cooperation with the farmers' cooperative VAKS in Valmiera, a training was held for users of plant protection products.