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


How farms can reduce insecticides with natural pest control

A diverse landscape with lots of habitat is the best way to encourage the beneficial insects that are needed to provide natural pest control and replace the use of insecticides…


Try this six-point health check for your oilseed rape

Oilseed rape growers are being urged to use a simple six-point plan to assess their crops for yield potential before looking to encourage growth with the first dose of nitrogen.…


5 tips on using Nemathorin to control nematodes in spuds

Growers using Nemathorin for the first time this spring to control nematodes in potato crops are being urged to carefully follow the guidelines on its safe use. The loss of…


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…

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Case studies


Four OSR growers try different strategies to beat flea beetle

Despite its reputation for being a risky and expensive crop option, oilseed rape is currently enjoying better market prices and growing demand – but will that be enough to reverse…


Garlic-based nematicide shows promise for Yorks root grower

The control of free-living and root-knot nematodes is a problem for many vegetable growers, particularly as the mainstay nematicide Vydate (oxamyl) was withdrawn from use last December. Despite its loss,…


Sugar beet drilling racing ahead in near-perfect conditions

Sugar beet drilling is racing ahead in south Lincolnshire in dry spring weather with two-thirds of the national crop expected to be in the ground by the Easter weekend. First-time…


How a biotic farmer deals with insect pests and weeds

Growing top-quality seed potatoes is a challenge no matter how you farm. But not many would consider growing them without any insecticide, herbicide, fungicide or synthetic fertiliser – yet that’s…

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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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Analysis: How Brexit affects farmers' access to pesticides

Adequate resources and a more pragmatic, science-based approach by UK regulators will be crucial to growers gaining better access to crop-protection tools after Brexit. Over recent years, plenty of criticism…


Could beneficial insects help fight against virus yellows?

In the hunt for new solutions to virus yellows in sugar beet, research into whether biological control can help is being ramped up on a Cambridgeshire farm this season. An…


Trial reveals true impact of flea beetle on lodging in OSR

Oilseed rape growers with crops infested with cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) larvae are being advised to consider using plant growth regulators to reduce crop height, as new trial data…


How breeding can help farmers manage PCN in potatoes

A breeding collaboration searching for new marketable spud varieties showing resistance and high tolerance to potato cyst nematode have put forward five promising candidate clones for National List testing. Grampian…

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Swiss voters reject plans to ban synthetic pesticides

Switzerland has rejected proposals that would have made it the first European country to ban the use of synthetic pesticides in agriculture. The provisional results of a nationwide referendum on…


Insecticide gets emergency authorisation for sugar beet

Sugar beet growers have another option for managing beet yellows this spring, following the emergency authorisation of InSyst (acetamiprid). The approval permits one application of Certis’ insecticide to control peach…


New rodenticide launched to tackle ‘super-rat’ resistance

A rodenticide with a different mode of action to first- and second-generation anticoagulants is now available for use on farms in the UK. The new bait has proved effective in…


Farmers given more time to dispose of Vydate stocks

Users and distributors of withdrawn granular nematicide Vydate (oxamyl) have been given extra time to return and dispose of existing stocks. On 24 December 2020, it was announced by the…

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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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