Know How / Pest management

Find out about the main pest threats and how to control them in wheat, barley, oilseed rape, sugar beet and potato crops. Get advice on dealing with pests including flea beetle, TuYV, potato cyst nematode, slugs and rats, how and when to apply insecticides and what a permanent neonicotinoid ban would mean.

Advice and tips


Late drilling and companion crops works for Dorset OSR crop

Delayed drilling and companion cropping have helped to get oilseed rape off to an excellent start on Jim Farquharson’s Dorset farm, and so escape the clutches of the crop’s most…


Why wildflowers could cut aphid-spread viruses in potatoes

Wildflowers grown in strips through potato crops could control disease-carrying aphids and may help growers faced with a dwindling number of insecticides. Areas of wildflowers grown in the headlands and…


4 cultural techniques for controlling BYDV in cereals

Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) is an aphid transmitted disease which can severely reduce the yield of cereals and grasses, with severe cases losing up to 60% of yield. With…


4 tips to monitor insect populations to aid pest management

Identifying and monitoring insect populations can benefit growers, providing them with knowledge of the abundance of species on farm so a pest management system can be integrated. Mark Ramsden, senior…

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Case studies


How a grower slashed insecticide use by splitting fields

A Cambridgeshire grower is reaping the rewards of encouraging beneficial insects, having eliminated the need to use any slug pellets or insecticides in his cropping system for more than a…


Norfolk grower trials closed-transfer sprayer system

A closed-transfer system for safely mixing and loading pesticides into sprayers has been successfully piloted on several UK farms, offering benefits to operators and the environment. The system transfers neat…


Grower's precision drill helps counter flea beetle threat

Wiltshire grower Martin Smart has invested in a new precision drill to give his oilseed rape a head start after on-farm trials showed that direct drilling helped his crops survive…


How a grower uses cultivations and tech to kill slugs

Slugs have been a major headache for North Yorkshire grower Graham Potter since he switched from a plough-based crop establishment system to direct drilling. But with proactive implementation of integrated…

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Farmer Focus: Surprising slug problem after oats

With all but 25ha (62 acres) of winter beans left to drill, autumn drilling is all but complete. After lessons learnt from last year and rushing to get cereals drilled,…

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How a new test helps bean growers tackle stem nematode

A new rapid test that complements existing diagnostics tools to identify both the presence and species of stem nematode in seed and soil will improve decision-making when managing its impact.…


Why weather is to blame for last season's poor OSR yields

Weather was a much bigger factor than cabbage stem flea beetle for last season’s poor oilseed rape yields, says one independent expert. Harvest 2020 will go down as the season…


Emerging tech to improve soil health and cut pesticide use

Soil degradation across the world is costing agriculture average losses estimated at 1.5mm/year on conventionally managed farms and how to reverse this trend is key to the future of farming.…


How the new sugar beet contract shares virus yellows risk

Sugar beet growers are set to benefit from some brand new features contained in the 2021 contract, which resulted from negotiations between British Sugar and NFU Sugar. Described as ground-breaking…

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Bean feed market offers way around brucid beetle risk

UK bean growers are being urged to focus more on crops for animal feed rather than human consumption this season if experiencing bruchid beetle damage, especially after a successful high-quality…


Potato growers lose Vydate in nematode battle

Potato growers have lost another vital tool for controlling potato cyst nematodes, following the UK government’s decision not to reauthorise the use of the pesticide Vydate (oxamyl). Manufactured by Corteva…


Sugar growers reject 'secret' lobbying jibe

Farm leaders have rejected accusations that they are secretly lobbying the government to allow banned pesticides on sugar beet seed. It comes after environmentalist George Monbiot accused the NFU of…


Pesticide labels to include mode of action info from 2023

Selecting pesticides with different modes of action is to become easier, with labels required to carry this information from 2023. The clearer labelling is aimed at helping farmers and agronomists…

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Test and reviews


A guide to effective bird scaring kits for farmers

New technology for farmers with the age-old problem of scaring birds off crops are constantly hitting the market. From lasers, to acoustic systems, to inflatable scarecrows, to kites, we look…


Eight of the best slug pelleters on test

We test eight of the best slug pelleters with the help of testing specialist SCS. The test KRM Stocks Techneat Spaldings Logic Bullock Verdict We tested the pelleters with the…

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Video: Wolverine wheat looks good in BYDV battle

The first wheat variety with resistance to an important aphid-spread disease is showing a yield of more than 10t/ha in Kent, with some seed available for growers this autumn. The…


Video: Clever electronic bird scarer gets worldwide interest

Farmers are flocking to buy a bird scarer which uses fire alarms and flashing lights to keep pigeons off oilseed rape crops. More than 300 orders have been placed in…


Video: How to properly set up a crop sprayer

Crop spraying is one of the most important and highly skilled jobs undertaken on any arable farm, but it is facing increased public scrutiny. This is why it is vital…


Video: Getting the best PCN control from biofumigant crops

Rapidly incorporating residue is vital to achieving effective control of potato cyst nematode when using a biofumigant crop. That is the latest message from AHDB Potatoes’ Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm…

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