12 January 1996

Less risk of bulb fly

WHEAT bulb fly egg hatch has started. But damage is not expected to be great this year, according to the ADAS / DowElanco Pestwatch service.

Despite sub-zero conditions at the end of 1995 eggs are now hatching in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Lincolnshire and North Humberside.

Although damage is expected to be rare this year, cereal growers are urged to remain vigilant.

Population checks carried out by the ADAS/DowElanco pest monitoring service last year show a marked reduction in the number of eggs laid by adult flies. However, localised attacks in individual fields could still occur, warns James Knight of DowElanco.

Egg laying was most concentrated in the traditional areas of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire, he adds.

"Any winter wheat that has been drilled after the end of October should be checked regularly. Crops with less than three tillers per plant are at high risk of pest damage." Affected crops should be treated as soon as possible with a recommended insecticide, he says. &#42