20 June 1997

BYDV goes under the microscope in trials

A NOVEL seed treatment is one of several defences against barley yellow dwarf virus being examined in new Arable Research Centres trials on spring barley.

Controlling aphids carrying the disease into spring crops is trickier than in winter cereals, says ARCs Shuttleworth-based Stuart Knight. "You cant rely on a single spray because aphids fly in right through the season."

The yield effect of BYDV on the crop remains unclear, adds Mr Knight. Mike Collins of New Farm Crops, which offers the most resistant recommended variety in Optic, says the disease cut output of some susceptible types by 40% in 1990.

ARC work is exploring the effect of different drilling dates on several sites, comparing both Optic and Cork, another relatively resistant variety, with the susceptible Derkado.