23 May 1997

Aphids are fooled

DRILLING cereals into trashy seed-beds can remove the need for a BYDV insecticide, because aphids do not recognise the crop, says Alastair Leake, trials manager at CWS Farms, Stoughton, Leics.

Even some late August or early September drillings can be made safe, he maintains. That avoids the need to delay all drilling, a favourite but unpopular tactic of integrated crop management.

Direct drilling camouflages the emerging crop. "After three years of using the technique without autumn insecticide, we have not had any BYDV in the crop," notes Mr Leake.