AHDB has announced plans to invest up to £60,000 to improve understanding of the barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) risk in cereals.
The announcement follows the decision by the European Commission (EC) to ban outdoor use of neonicotinoid seed treatments, which include those used to protect cereal crops from BYDV infection by aphid vectors.
The latest research investment will deliver results during autumn 2019, as winter cereals without the option of a neonicotinoid seed treatment are being drilled.
Charlotte Rowley, who manages pest research at AHDB, says: “Seed treatments affected by the ban will need to be used up by December 19, 2018. Alternative control measures will be needed next year.
“Although full-rate pyrethroid sprays can provide effective control of aphids, they are becoming resistant. At present, this is limited to moderate levels of resistance in grain aphids. But knowledge about BYDV risk needs to be improved, to make sure sprays are only ever used as a last resort.”
The research will look at the potential to generate field-specific risk forecasts for BYDV in wheat, barley and oats. It will also update guidance to inform BYDV management strategies.