17 November 1995

Gaucho deadline extension

AN EXTENSION to the deadline for ordering Gaucho (imidacloprid) seed treatment for next season should help sugar beet growers improve virus yellows control.

British Sugars move to allow changes to seed treatment orders up to the end of October allowed growers to use maps of this years disease outbreaks to help decide whether to use the chemical.

Early aphid migration and the warm summer meant 14% of the UK beet area was affected by virus yellows this year – 4% more than in 1994. But it could have been twice that level without timely control, says Brooms Barn researcher Dr Alan Dewar.

Overall growers saved themselves about £5m after the cost of treatments, he calculates.