23 May 1997

No rush to hit aphids

ALTHOUGH aphids are beginning to appear in sugar beet crops, growers need be in no hurry to spray them, according to Brooms Barn.

Frost and wet, windy weather have kept virus-bearing Myzus persicae in check. Only black and potato aphids have been found in suction traps.

Treatment is unlikely to be needed unless numbers build quickly, says Alan Dewar. Unnecessary insecticide applications may enhance selection of resistant variants. "It would be ecologically and economically more prudent to let predators control them. Indeed, black aphids tend to attract predators." &#42