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


6 areas to improve sprayer operator efficiency

In order to hit crucial spray timings and ensure inputs work as effectively as possible, spray operators need to maximise their time spent in the field on good spraying days.…


AHDB trial helps farmer tackle major potato challenges

Growing potatoes has its challenges, and three years ago, one Suffolk grower was seeking solutions to problems such as potato cyst nematodes (PCN) and controlling weeds without linuron, as well…


Tips on growing beet without neonic seed treatments

The British Beet Research Organisation is stepping up its aphid monitoring and warning system this spring to help sugar beet growers cope with the virus yellows threat in the first season…


Pesticide changes for potatoes and Avadex in spring wheat

Pesticide labels frequently change and keeping track is essential to stay on the right side of the law. Adam Clarke highlights two key changes that growers should be aware of…

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Case studies


How to hit quality specs with marrowfat peas

Growing a profitable crop of marrowfat peas requires complete attention to detail, from seed-bed formation to harvest, as getting it wrong can lead to disappointing yields and loss of valuable…


Young agronomist tackles BYDV and fungicide costs

Using companion crops to tackle the phosphate problem in chalky soils and growing barley yellow dwarf virus-tolerant barley varieties in disease hotspots are some of novel solutions being trialled by…


Why rye is the ideal second cereal on one Yorkshire farm

Maize tends to be the favoured crop for anaerobic digestion because it offers the highest dry matter yields. However, on the Yorkshire Wolds, hybrid rye is matching it when grown…


How one OSR grower is benefitting from companion crops

Companion cropping is helping to offset some of the risks associated with growing 120ha of winter oilseed rape on a Worcestershire farming estate. At the same time, it is supporting…

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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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Why drilling maize deeper and later could be future trend

Drilling maize later and up to depths of 7cm could be a useful strategy in light of two likely seed treatment reviews. Maize growers are preparing in earnest for the…


Farmers and researchers test ways to tackle flea beetle

Farmers and researchers are busy testing new ways to tackle cabbage stem flea beetle larvae in rapeseed this winter, as the pest threatens the crop's viability on some farms. Flea…


How farmers can help prevent 'mass extinction' of pollinators

Arable farming needs to change in order to halt declines in biodiversity and prevent one of the worst mass extinction events in history, a leading US entomologist has warned. Bold…


How resistant varieties can tackle potato cyst nematode

Potato growers battling potato cyst nematode (PCN) problems are set to benefit from significant breeding efforts into producing fresh varieties resistant to the key nematode species Globodera pallida. Some promising varieties…

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Pesticide changes this March growers need to know

Two changes to pesticide labels plus the need for farmers to keep on top of their spray store stock ahead of a spate of withdrawals next year are the key…


Crop Watch: T0 cereal spray strategies and variable oilseed rape

The effects of the unseasonably warm spell in February are now being seen, with wheat crops motoring on and oilseed rape starting stem extension.  It means agronomists' thoughts have now…


British Sugar sees beet area down 5-10% this spring

The sugar beet area is set to dip 5-10% this spring as some early drilling gets under way, reflecting a fall in beet prices and the banning of key insecticide…


Flea beetle decimates OSR leading to hive relocation headache

One of Britain's biggest beekeepers says he must relocate hundreds of hives because cabbage stem flea beetle has destroyed so much oilseed rape this season. Perthshire-based Murray McGregor turned to…

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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: 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…


Video: Ultimate guide to good slug pellet application

With the fate of metaldehyde in their hands, growers have one final winter to make sure the slug killer doesn’t contaminate watercourses. As a timely reminder, Oli Hill looks at best application…


Video: How to calibrate your slug pellet spreader

Slug pellets and the potential harm they can cause to watercourses is under intensifying scrutiny. Making sure pellet spreaders are properly set up will be vital to avoid breaching the…

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