By FWi staff

GROWERS should drill spring barley varieties early to avoid yield losses from Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) infection, according to research funded by Home Grown Cereals Authority.

Yields from late-sown spring barley were sometimes reduced by up to 50 % in trials, as a result of BYDV infection.

Two BYDV-resistant spring barley varieties, Cork and Optic, and one susceptible variety, Derkado, were drilled on two drilling dates at four locations in England.


Research conducted by Arable Research Centres aimed to:
  • Define yield losses in BYDV-infected spring barley
  • Determine the effect of variety resistance on yield losses
  • Evaluate the influence of sowing date on BYDV incidence
  • Determine the effectiveness of imidacloprid seed treatment and foliar insecticides in controlling BYDV
  • The research found BYDV levels were heavy in only one of the three seasons and Derkado exhibited more BYDV infection than other varieties.

    However, generally, varietal differences were not marked.

    Delaying drilling by one month from March to April reduced yields by 14.9 % to 37.6%, while average yield reduction as a result of delayed drilling, over three seasons of trials, was 26.9 %.

    Richard Overthrow of Arable Research centres said earlier drilling dates and variety resistance were the most effective ways of reducing BYDV infection levels in spring barley.

    “Responses from seed treatment and foliar insecticides were too inconsistent to justify their use alone or in combination to reduce BYDV infections in spring barley.”

    • Full details are in HGCA Project Report No. 206 The importance of barley yellow dwarf virus infection in spring barley and opportunities to manage disease, at 3.00 from HGCA, Caledonia House, 223 Pentonville Road, London N1 9HY.
    • Telephone 0207 520 3920
    • e-mail publications@hgca.com