Changing Perceptions campaign gains pace

CHAP’s Changing Perceptions campaign, which aims to improve understanding and therefore uptake of biological crop protection products, is gaining momentum following the launch of new projects, creative multimedia assets and insightful content.

The campaign was launched in May, with a view to bringing together a range of CHAP projects, collaborations and activities with the same theme – facilitating evidence to improve trust and therefore uptake of biologicals.

Since the launch, CHAP has penned 10 insightful blogs and articles including biopesticides as part of innovative crop health strategies and non-chemical slug control strategies,.

The New Innovations team shared a report summarising a business case that proposes a Biologicals Pipeline Accelerator and Demonstrator as the solution to helping speed up scientifically-proven products successfully reaching the market.

As a follow up to this, a creative animation has also been released, to help drive interest in the concept and raise awareness of its potential. Despite being launched only recently, this has had more than 100 views on YouTube.

Events-wise, the team took Changing Perceptions on tour to both Groundswell and Cereals, and hosted a digital plant imaging webinar that explored how phenotyping technology can be used to assess the effectiveness of new products including biological solutions. More than 100 people attended the webinar from across the globe, whereas the in-person events generated at least 60 meaningful conversations.

Further scientific insight was shared through our social media series #IsolateoftheWeek, which showcased five of the microorganisms available through CHAP’s National Reference Collection, and the important role they play in crop protection.

A highlight for many during the campaign, has been the launch of the SprayBot project, which aims to devise a method for the precision application of fungicides and biopesticides. The project combines expertise from CHAP, Newcastle University, Small Robot Company, Fotenix and Silsoe Spray Applications Unit to detect and map crop disease, to then apply product at a variable rate to small areas.

Nine different industry publications shared the news of SprayBot including Farmers Guardian, Robotics & Innovation and Agronomist and Arable Farmer.

Online interviews were conducted with some of the team behind CHAP’s biologicals work – Dr Tom Ashfield, Dr Franklin Ilogu, and Dr Alex McCormack.

Strategic Marketing Manager for CHAP, Janine Heath, said: “When we launched Changing Perceptions, it was with the belief that the messaging behind it had the potential to provide insight and encourage debate to contribute to a broader understanding and inclusion of biologicals within integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.

“We wanted to showcase the excellent work that’s taking place across the agri-tech network, through our capabilities, and via our respected team of experts.

“It’s very encouraging to see the campaign gain momentum, whether that’s through media coverage, online engagement, the development of new relationships, or general intrigue. The launch article alone has been viewed more than 450 times on our website, and sharing more than 50 biologicals-themed social media posts means we’ve gained great online traction.

“We still have deliverables yet to come, but the CHAP team and wider family have united to produce a coordinated and thought-provoking approach to the topic. We’re certainly looking forward to launching our next campaign this autumn.”

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