Pollen beetle in oilseed rape© Tim Scrivener

Oilseed rape growers have been told to expect significant migration as of next week, as temperatures rise and crops begin to flower.

Rothamsted researcher Sam Cook says the latest forecast from online Bayer’s pollen beetle prediction tool shows early pest migration is under way across many part of the UK.

Although temperatures have reached the threshold to see migration begin, there have not been enough sustained periods of warmth to encourage any significant migration so far, but forecasts suggest that could be about to change.

See also: The ultimate guide to crop disease and pest forecasting tools

“While we may see more met stations turn red on the migration start map, the forecast remains too cool to favour significant migration.

“It’s now looking like it’ll be April before we see pollen beetles in significant numbers,” says Dr Cook.

Pollen beetle migration is being reported mostly in the western half of the country on the back of generally warmer temperatures in these regions.

Map showing pollen beetle migration in UK

Parts of the home counties, Norfolk, the west country and Wales up to north Yorkshire and Scotland are now highlighted red on Bayer’s pollen beetle interactive map, indicating that migration has started.

Agrii agronomist Todd Jex is reporting early pollen beetle instances in Dorset and Wiltshire.

Pollen beetle traps are also recording low levels of pest movement in Shefford, Bedfordshire.

Independent agronomist David Jones warns growers should be on the look out for the pest as oilseed rape crops reach the flowering growth stages.

Early sightings of pollen beetle activity in Rougham, Suffolk, are also being flagged up.

See the latest information at the dedicated Bayer Pollen Beetle Predictor webpage.

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