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 steps for granular potato nematicide best practice

Potato growers are being reminded to follow the best-practice protocol for granular nematicides this spring to ensure products are used safely and are protected for the future. Mark Taylor, chairman…


How to control wireworm in potatoes effectively

The threat of wireworm damage is a growing concern for UK potato producers as a perfect storm of risk factors create optimum conditions for the soil-dwelling pest to thrive. Growers…


How to introduce SFI 2023's no insecticide option

After another delay, applications for the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) 2023 are due to finally open in mid-September, with the new no use of insecticide action being one of the…


Why wheat drill dates should be delayed this autumn

Independent agronomists say early wheat drilling compounded many of the yield-limiting issues experienced this year and urge growers to consider the risks when planning planting schedules this autumn. Back in…

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Case studies


Why pollinators are key to Scottish grower’s 6t/ha bean yield

Pollinating insects can increase bean yields by up to 50%. Emma Gillbard visits a farmer who is using beetle banks and grass margins to boost yield and cut chemical use.…


Three practical IPM strategies to help growers cut costs

Independent agronomist Ben Burrows of Crop Management Partners has been working closely with Hampshire farm manager David Miller to implement a number of IPM strategies and cut input costs at…


Grower moves to direct-drilled OSR and companion crops

Dorset grower Andrew Fry is growing oilseed rape for the first time and is hoping for a good yield from his new break crop. There is also £100/ha of government…


No-insecticide wheat yields over 10t/ha for Norfolk grower

Norfolk grower Will More is planning a second season of drilling a virus-resistant wheat variety with environmental and financial benefits, while also producing a good yield at harvest 2023. Using…

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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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Which IPM options are best to manage CSFB?

With no single chemical or cultural approach that reliably manages cabbage stem flea beetle numbers, control requires a combination of techniques to suppress populations of the pest. But with dozens…


3 risks to assess before drilling winter wheat early

Winter wheat growers are being advised to think hard about three heightened risks before going for early drilling this autumn – namely blackgrass, aphid-borne disease, and septoria. After a very…


Why slug pressure is intensifying and what farmers can do

A changing climate and evolving farming systems could lead to more frequent slug population explosions, and growers must be alert and ready to react. It is widely accepted that UK…


How managing crop nutrition can avoid insect and disease

Insect and disease attacks do not occur at random. Instead, they show up in specific places in response to specific environmental cues, according to US regen expert John Kempf. Farmers…

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New research project needs farmers' wireworms

Growers are being asked to send live wireworms to Rothamsted Research, where researchers are developing tools to help farmers accurately assess wireworm soil numbers. There are limited chemical treatments for…


Environmental watchdog to probe Defra's neonics exemptions

The environmental watchdog for England is launching an investigation into Defra’s emergency authorisation of a neonicotinoid pesticide for sugar beet seed in 2023 and 2024, under the previous Conservative government.…


Farmers needed for next stage of slug control project

A year after the launch of a project to find solutions to the UK’s £45m slug control problem in agriculture, farmers are being invited to take part in the next…


Cereals 2024: Smart trap alerts OSR growers to pest threats

Oilseed rape growers will soon be able to remotely monitor pest numbers in their crops, following the launch of a digital yellow water trap. Yellow water traps are a valuable…

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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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