The International Pesticide Application Research Consortium (IPARC)

The Consortium

Formerly known as the International Pesticide Application Research Centre, IPARC has focused on application methods for smallholder farmers. We emphasise practical and cost-effective techniques to manage pests, while reducing the use of chemical pesticides and promoting the efficacy of natural processes and alternative biological agents. Based in Berkshire, England, IPARC has been an integral part of pesticide research at Silwood Park for more than 60 years. It has specialised in the needs of small-holder farmers, application techniques for migrant pest and vector control.

IPARC is a World Health Organisation (WHO) collaborating centre, and its activities have been endorsed by the Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES). IPARC has been awarded the BEST PESTICIDE RESEARCH & EDUCATION AGENCY – Europe 2017 by the Industry Insight Monthly journal

 Applying less pesticide …

 … more safely …
Droplet size analysis of a rotary sprayer for Controlled Droplet Application (CDA) developed in collaboration with IPARC scientists.

 by spraying more efficiently 

Spraying cotton with a tail-boom, which both improves dose transfer to leaf undersides and reduces operator contamination.

The centre is equipped to carry out research, evaluation and training on the application of both chemical and biological pesticides.  Staff often carry out consultancy work for international organisations and commercial companies, as part of IC Consultants.  Core expertise includes:

  • long-standing knowledge base on selection and use of sprayers appropriate for the developing world
  • rational pesticide use (RPU) in integrated crop and pest management systems
  • design and development of spraying equipment and ancillary equipment (e.g. Controlled Droplet Application and low volume systems)
  • standards setting for application equipment and sprayer testing (for WHO, FAO and the Inter-African Phyto-Sanitary Council)
  • biopesticide formulation and application
  • nozzle evaluation: droplet spectrum analysis; collaboration with the BCPC nozzle classification scheme
  • participatory training of farmers and trainers

IPARC scientists are involved in improvement of application methods for tree crops such as cocoa.  Our extensive data base of application equipment, spray nozzles and ancillary equipment (such as the pressure regulating valve shown here) has proved very useful for this work.

Research is followed-on by training: we produce, or have participated in the development of, a number of guides, books and other training materials, such as the 10-point guide to spraying cocoa.


Activities and Projects

  • application to tree and bush crops (cocoa, coffee, fruit)
  • development of rational pesticide use systems for smallholder crops such as cotton and vegetables
  • the Yaounde Initiative: a Foundation for improving health and well-being of communities in Africa, through the control of insect vectors of human diseases and improved agricultural production.
  • sprayer evaluation as a collaborating centre for the World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • development of guidelines in collaboration with FAO (locust control, sprayer use)
  • biopesticide formulation development – e.g. Green Muscle formulation for the international LUBILOSA Programme
  • assistance with the design, development and evaluation of application equipment (e.g. several CDA sprayers, pressure regulating valves for conventional sprayers)
  • vegetable IPM – eastern and southern Africa
  • monitoring of large scale control operations (tsetse, locusts and other migratory pests)
  • development of training manuals, guidelines, on-line courses and participatory training on safe and effective pesticide use

IPARC scientists have consistently promoted pest control that has minimal impact on the environment.  A substantial amount of biopesticide development has been carried out here, including formulation and application development of ‘Green Muscle’ for the LUBILOSA Programme.  This product is based on the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum, which effectively controls locusts without affecting their natural enemies. In collaboration with ACIS R&D, we are currently carrying out further development of the ‘Mycoharvester’: a device for extracting pure spores of beneficial fungi such as BeauveriaMetarhizium and Trichoderma spp.

IPARC participates in various initiatives for developing and promoting a wide range of biological pesticides, including: COST-850 and SIP. Current lines of research include:

  • Delivery systems for entomopathogenic nematodes
  • Improved spore separation and formulation techniques for mycopesticides
  • Biopesticides for cocoa disease management


IPARC was involved in a number of research projects related to the ‘Electrodyn’ sprayer. Unfortunately due to commercial factors, the use of this highly innovative system is now limited to insecticide applications on tree saplings.

A project has been carried out in IPARC to design and develop alternative application systems for protecting saplings of Sitka spruce and Scots pine, using conventional pesticide formulations.  This system may reduce the risk of operator contamination, both during actual application and when refilling or cleaning the system. The system must also be safe to use, complying with all health and safety regulations. Another requirement is that the volume of waste pesticide solution is kept to a minimum, to reduce disposal costs and risk of environmental contamination.

Participatory training on the safe and effective use of pesticide application equipment. Here, trainees from Cameroon examine a side-lever knapsack sprayer to see whether it conforms to FAO standards (themselves developed in collaboration with IPARC).


Pesticide Application Methods, is the standard textbook on this subject and now in its fourth edition; it was written using the extensive field and laboratory experience gained in association with IPARC and its collaborators. The chapters describe:
 1. Chemical control in integrated pest management
 2. Targets for pesticide deposition
 3. Formulation of pesticides
 4. Spray droplets
 5. Hydraulic nozzles
 6. Manually carried hydraulic sprayers
 7. Power-operated hydraulic sprayers
 8. Air-assisted sprayers
 9. Controlled droplet application
 10. Electrostatically charged sprays
 11. Aerial application
 12. Spray drift
 13. Seed treatment, dust and granule application
 14. Space treatment by fogging
 15. Specialist application techniques (Injection, fumigation and other techniques)
 16. Application of bio-pesticides
 17. Maintenance of equipment
 18. Safety Precautions
 19. Equipment for laboratory and field trials
 20. Selection of spraying equipment for chemical and biological pesticides



As a Centre, maintained a capacity to carry out research evaluation and development, of whole sprayers, nozzles and active formulations. Many of these facilities will shortly be moved to Harper Adams University, including:

    • collection of portable sprayers and other application equipment appropriate for developing countries
    • biopesticide formulation laboratory
  • sprayer testing facilities, including the WHO test for compression sprayers


Roy Bateman
Hans Dobson – (with Natural Resources Institute)
Graham Matthews
Keith Walters
Denis Wright



Evan Thornhill


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