AHDB Horticulture’s Pest Bulletin is back for 2017 with new features and early forecasts.
Additions to the bulletin this year include using UK and overseas information to predict infestations of diamond-back moth (DBM) and silver Y moth more effectively, according to AHDB.
It follows exceptionally high levels of diamond-back moth infestation in 2016.
The Pest Bulletin, hosted by Syngenta, provides forecasts and up-to-date reports for most key field crop pests.
Keith Mawer, grower at Strawson, said: “The Pest Bulletin gives an insight into what’s happening at an early stage. It focuses attention and allows early intervention.”
The first immigrant DBMs of the season were found in mid-March primarily in the South West – possibly arriving from the Continent with south-westerly winds, according to AHDB.
Project lead, Dr Rosemary Collier, said: “It is probably too early for them to do major damage in the UK but large migrations later in the year are likely to have an impact.”
She added it was possible that some DBMs overwintered in the warmest parts of the country.
For aphids, early forecasts from the Rothamsted Insect Survey suggest first flights by species such as myzus persicae will be about a week earlier than average.
Dr Collier said: “The general message from the Rothamsted Insect Survey is if spring doesn’t throw any wildly abnormal conditions at us, aphids will be flying a little earlier than usual, especially in the north and west.”
Cabbage root flies and carrot flies are already emerging in the south and cabbage root flies are starting to lay eggs. Bean seed flies have also been on the wing for some time.