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High levels of Virus Yellows forecast for 2019 after mild winter

High levels of Virus Yellows have been forecast for 2019, after a mild winter and warm February boosted aphid populations.

The forecast highlights the potential level of virus at the end of August from three drilling dates in the northern and eastern regions, with later drilled crops in the East most effected.


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This is the first time in 25 years that neonicotinoid seed treatments have not been used to protect the crop.

 

The British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) who issued the warning, says a timely application of aphicides, good crop hygiene, crop monitoring and ensuring the crop reaches the 12-leaf stage as quickly as possible will all be crucial in minimising virus risk in 2019.

Any crops grown near to winter OSR are at higher risk of virus infection, because aphids have been able to over-winter, despite some frosts.

 

All sources of plant material which may already be infected, providing sites for infection and spread into crops, should be removed and spoil heaps and any beet piles left on farm should be destroyed.

With good conditions tempting growers, BBRO are advising to drill with caution to avoid bolting and only where conditions are right.

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