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Wheat fly survey shows higher risk in the North
4:38pm Friday 11th October 2013 in Farming
THE annual HGCA autumn wheat bulb fly survey shows the risk in northern England is higher than last year.
Soil samples were taken from 30 fields split across eastern and northern England, where the pest is historically most prevalent.
Of these fields, seven per cent were classified “high-risk”
as they contained egg numbers greater than the suggested autumn- drilling seed treatment threshold of 250 eggs/m2.
Caroline Nicholls, HGCA research and knowledge transfer manager, said: “Although the risk remains relatively low and below the long-term average, all the high-risk fields were in the northern region and growers located here should be a little more cautious this year.
“The survey findings indicated a very low risk to early drilled crops in the eastern region, but it is important to remember that a lower threshold of 100 eggs/m2 applies when crops are drilled after November.
“In both regions, 40 per cent of monitored sites were above this lower threshold and these sites are likely to benefit from an insecticide seed treatment.”
Eggs are laid in late summer in bare soils and the survey took samples from land that provided a good opportunity for adult wheat bulb flies to lay eggs – such as land previously used for root crops, early harvested crops or fallow.
All cereals, except oats, can be attacked by wheat bulb fly whose larvae hatch between January and March. They invade shoots, which eventually die back to show “deadheart”
symptoms of damage, potentially causing yield losses of up to 4t/ha.
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