Growers are being invited to take part in a national aphid survey to help gain a better understanding of the number and abundance of aphids and beneficial insect populations in cereal crops across the UK.
The survey, being conducted by crop research firm Adas, aims to use data to demonstrate the variation in pests and their natural enemies across different agricultural landscapes.
Investigations are taking place at both the AHDB strategic farms, East and West, and the group hopes UK farmers will help contribute to the survey by briefly counting aphids and natural enemy populations, allowing a national picture of insect numbers to be built up.
The survey will take about an hour to complete, where feedback will be provided through the AHDB strategic farm program.
To take part, growers should assess any cereal crop and identify any species of aphids, an aphid mummy (parasitised by a wasp), hoverfly larvae, ladybird larvae, adult ladybirds and any other invertebrates, between the end of May and senescence.
A minimum of 20 tillers should be inspected, about 10m into the crop.
The crop’s growth stage and the number of tillers which had one or more aphids or natural enemies present should be recorded.
The process should be repeated up to five times along a transect parallel to the field edge, with monitoring points 25m apart and then again 100m into the crop, along a transect parallel to the first.