26 January 1996

Red alert for wheat bulb fly attack

WHEAT bulb fly plant invasion is forecast to start over the coming week, according to DowElancos Pestwatch service.

Egg hatch was progressing quickly at all the companys pest monitoring sites in the eastern counties, North Humberside and North Yorkshire, earlier this week. Plant invasion is likely to be widespread by early next week, says James Knight of DowElanco.

Egg hatch increase

"Theres been a steady increase in egg hatch at all sites over the past seven days," he says. "If farmers dont treat fields at risk with an insecticide now – before plant invasion begins – they will not be able to prevent pest damage.

"Once the wheat bulb fly larvae have burrowed into the base of cereal plants, the best you can hope for is to contain the damage they cause," he notes.