Although relatively few pest issues have been reported in cereals and oilseeds so far this year, there are several pests that growers can be on the look-out for in the coming weeks.
Speaking at an ADAS Gleadthorpe open day, ADAS entomologist Dr Steve Ellis said there is some concern about aphids but so far levels are relatively low and current cool weather conditions will not assist migration.
“On wheat, 50 per cent of tillers need to be infested to warrant a spray and I’d be very surprised if that level has been found anywhere in the country.”
Orange wheat blossom midge may be looming in wheat where it’s a problem, said Dr Ellis. “But levels have declined dramatically and I think this has a lot to do with people growing more resistant varieties.”
Dr Ellis said he had received a report of more wheat bulb fly than would have been expected from egg counts, with egg counts at their lowest level since recording began. “I think it may have been a misidentification and that it was actually yellow cereal fly larvae.”
High levels of pod midge pupae in soil have been reported on some oilseed rape crops in the Yorkshire Wolds even in the absence of seed weevil; the two are usually linked.
“Levels of pupae are phenomenal. This shows pod midge is not entirely dependent on seed weevil. We need to monitor pod midge levels in the soil with a view to monitoring time of emergence to time sprays,” said Dr Ellis.