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


Tips on growing successful oilseed rape companion crops

Companion cropping has received a mixed response among growers, most of whom have not been familiar with growing two crops simultaneously in the same field. Farmers are understandably wary of…


Aphid pressure mounts in sugar beet crops - what you can do

Aphids are now flying and sugar beet growers are being urged to check their crops, as some have already reached the spray threshold for these vectors of virus yellows in…


Why primed OSR seed could help with crop establishment

A new oilseed rape variety will be available this summer only as primed seed which is aimed at helping with early establishment and coping with early pest attacks and dry…


Updated advice on tackling cercospora in sugar beet

Burying infected leaves, identifying disease early and timely fungicide treatments are all steps growers can make to keep on top of the aggressive sugar beet disease cercospora. Cercospora is the…

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Case studies


Why two growers want to make more of beneficial insects

Flower-rich strips and grass margins have long been a feature on farms as part of environmental schemes, but they could also save farmers money by eliminating the need for insecticides.…


How potato variety choice helps with nematode management

The significant threat posed by potato cyst nematode (PCN) in many potato-growing areas is making variety choice a key component of a sustainable production system. With nematicides facing an uncertain…


Video: Sugar beet drilling success with near-perfect weather

Sugar beet drilling is racing to a close in the current dry weather with higher beet prices and the availability of a key virus yellows seed treatment prompting more optimism…


Oilseed rape is on a recovery path as spring approaches

As oilseed rape crops come out of the winter, the positive influences of strong rapeseed prices and good autumn establishment are being offset by rising growing costs. With spring management…

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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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Key lessons from £12m arable farming and wildlife project

A better understanding of the contribution made by nature-based solutions to improving the resilience of productive arable land and its ability to deliver higher yields has come from the recently…


New project tackles nematodes in potatoes and daffodils

A new three-year project aims to tackle the spread of plant parasitic nematodes in potatoes and daffodils using cover crops. Potato cyst nematodes (PCN) are a growing problem in Scotland,…


What to expect from Defra's pesticides action plan

A revised national action plan for pesticides must allow farmers continued access to effective tools to protect crops from pests, weeds and diseases so they can produce safe and affordable…


How to stay compliant following systemic insecticide changes

Growers are being advised to familiarise themselves with changes to the conditions of use for key systemic insecticides this spring to avoid falling foul of the rules. Across various crops,…

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Study set to improve potato cyst nematode trap crop success

A new study is set to investigate the reliability of trap cropping in potato crops to help farmers overcome potato cyst nematode (PCN) pressure. Funded by Defra and Innovate UK,…


Nematicide gets go-ahead for FLN control in potatoes

A liquid nematicide containing fluopyram is now authorised for the suppression or free-living nematodes (FLNs), one of the most common nematode species that affects potato crops.  The new approval granted…


Eagle death prompts call for greater care with rodenticides

Farmers and landowners are being urged to “think wildlife” when it comes to using rodenticides, following the high-profile poisoning of a white-tailed eagle in Dorset. The dead bird was part…


Red Tractor should tighten pesticide rules, says report

Pesticide campaigners and wildlife groups are urging Red Tractor assurance to adopt tighter rules on chemical crop controls.  The call was published in a report by the Nature Friendly Farming…

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FW Podcast Special: Prospects for OSR growers this spring

Farmers are returning to oilseed rape, having previously abandoned the crop due to pressure from cabbage stem flea beetle following the ban on neonicotinoid seed treatments. UK growers are gradually…

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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 take an integrated approach to rodent control

The best way to deal with rat infestations is not to have them in the first place. Waiting until you see rats running around the farm is too late. Every…


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…

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