December 12 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, October 13, 2013
A scientific survey has revealed regional variations in wheat bulb fly risk, with very low risk to early drilled crops in the eastern region, but higher in the north.
Results from the annual HGCA study suggest the overall risk in England remains relatively low.
Soil samples were taken from 30 fields split across eastern and northern England, where the pest is historically most prevalent.
Of these 30 fields, 7% were classified as ‘high-risk’ as they contained egg numbers greater than the suggested autumn-drilling seed treatment threshold of 250 eggs/m2.
Caroline Nicholls, HGCA Research and Knowledge Transfer Manager, said: “Although the risk remains relatively low and below the long-term average, all the high-risk fields were in the northern region and growers located here should be a little more cautious this year.
“The survey findings indicated a very low risk to early drilled crops in the eastern region, but it is important to remember that a lower threshold of 100 eggs/m2 applies when crops are drilled after November.
“In both regions, 40% of monitored sites were above this lower threshold and these sites are likely to benefit from an insecticide seed treatment.”
Eggs are laid in late summer in bare soils and the survey took samples from land that provided a good opportunity for adult wheat bulb flies to lay eggs – such as land previously used for root crops, early harvested crops or fallow.
Miss Nicholls said: “To better understand the various risk factors, we advise that growers look at our publication on wheat bulb fly and the information in the full survey report.”