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LAMMA 2021

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What options do beet growers have for aphid control this season?

With the news that sugar beet growers will not have the option of Cruiser SB (thiamethoxam) this season, BBRO outlines what’s available in terms of aphid control.

The flonicamid-based product, Teppeki continues to have approval for one application to sugar beet in 2021. However, BBRO, in collaboration with British Sugar and NFU Sugar have applied for additional aphicide authorisations.

 

Dr Mark Stevens told the BBRO BeetTech Q&A session: “This week InSyst was in front of the committee to gain emergency authorisation for two applications and we’re also working with Bayer to try and gain an emergency authorisation for Movento.

 

“If we need a four-spray programme, we will have Teppeki, InSyst and Movento at the appropriate pest thresholds to limit their build up throughout the season.”


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Green bridge

 

In the meantime, he advised growers to be strict with any green bridges that could heighten aphid numbers.

 

“We have to be very mindful of green bridges for all pests and diseases. I may be more nervous about cercospora green bridging than aphids [this year]. This is because temperatures are significantly lower than we’ve had in recent years [killing off aphids].”

 

He added that crop yet to be harvested poses less threat because aphids do not tend to overwinter in sugar beet crops before harvest.

 

“If you still have crops in the ground, get them out as soon as possible and get them ploughed down to make sure residue isn’t on the surface. This is very important for cercospora because if any plants are harbouring disease, cercospora can survive down to -40degC.”

Neonics

 

Dr Stevens added that although this winter has been cold enough to reduce aphid populations and delay first flight to mid-late May in 2021, going forward, there is the potential to apply for another neonic derogation as a short-term solution and that the sugar industry was keeping a close eye on Europe.

 

“The French are drilling their 2021 crop with neonics on, but there continues to be pressure from green NGOs. Any challenges [the French face from a public or NGO backlash] are probably going to be more relevant for 2022/23. We’re keeping a close eye on it because at least 14 other European countries are using neonics almost prophylactically without a [Rothamsted-style] trigger point in place.”

Product mentions:

InSyst (acetamiprid)

Cruiser SB (thiamethoxam)

Teppeki (flonicamid)

Movento (spirotetramat)

Key points:

  • Growers will not have the option of Cruiser SB (thiamexotham) this season
  • Teppeki continues to have approval for one application to sugar beet in 2021
  • Industry has applied for emergency authorisation of InSyst and Movento
  • Green bridges need careful management because they could heighten aphid numbers
  • This winter has been cold enough to reduce aphid populations and delay first flight to mid-late May in 2021
  • Neonicotinoids are being used on sugar beet across Europe this season
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