Farmers needed for short survey on beetles

  • 20
  • APR
  • 2020

Update, June 2020 We now have enough responses to the initial survey and this is now closed. A new phase including farmer workshops will now take place as online activities. If you would like to take part please email Kelly at

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A Rothamsted PhD student whose research into pest-eating beetles has been badly disrupted by the lockdown is appealing for farmers to help with her project.

Kelly Jowett, who is co-supervised by the University of Reading, had planned to run a series of farmer workshops this year – but has instead been forced online to seek farmer opinions on the benefits of ground beetles in crop protection.

She said: “With increasing restrictions on pesticides, and public opposition to chemical use, agricultural researchers are looking for new pest management options. Paramount to this is ensuring these are effective and applicable to real world situations.”

Kelly added she is hoping to discover which farm management practices can encourage those ground beetle species that have a proven role in crop protection, whilst being favourable to farmer’s preferences.

She has set up an online survey that takes less than 20 minutes to complete and will be appealing for help across social media using the hashtag #BeneficialBeetlesSurvey

“I had originally planned farmer workshops to accompany the questionnaire, which may not be possible in my PhD timescale due to COVID19. So I’m humbly requesting as many farmers as possible take part or help spread the word, so that I’m able to collect and analyse meaningful data,” says Kelly.

The survey needs input from all sectors, as ground beetles are beneficial on all farm types.

Studies have shown that ground beetles eat a range of important crop pests and can control the populations of livestock pests too.

Ground beetles also support biodiverse habitats and provide food resources for threatened farmland wild birds.

About Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries, from crop treatment to crop protection, from statistical interpretation to soils management. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices.
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1Rothamsted Research and the Value of Excellence: A synthesis of the available evidence, by Séan Rickard (Oct 2015)

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About LAT
The Lawes Agricultural Trust, established in 1889 by Sir John Bennet Lawes, supports Rothamsted Research’s national and international agricultural science through the provision of land, facilities and funding. LAT, a charitable trust, owns the estates at Harpenden and Broom's Barn, including many of the buildings used by Rothamsted Research. LAT provides an annual research grant to the Director, accommodation for nearly 200 people, and support for fellowships for young scientists from developing countries. LAT also makes capital grants to help modernise facilities at Rothamsted, or invests in new buildings.