Oilseed rape growers are being encouraged to take part in two pest monitoring initiatives to help the industry build a better picture of pressure this season.
Rothamsted Research scientists have made an urgent call for rapeseed growers to volunteer to run monitoring traps and perform regular transects in their crops between the green bud and flowering growth stages.
A major pest of oilseed rape, pollen beetles infest crops in March and cause feeding damage which can result in significant yield loss.
To help growers decide when spray thresholds have been reached, Rothamsted Research developed pollen beetle monitoring traps which are used to contribute data to a web tool.
The work is funded by the AHDB and aims to help farmers identify the main risk periods and avoid unnecessary spraying to maintain pesticide active efficacy.
Host farms are especially needed in the following areas:
- Devon, specifically Starcross
- North-east England, specifically Newcastle
- North-west England, specifically Preston
Growers who would like to volunteer or get more information should contact Rothamsted Research scientist Sam Cook as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01582 938 488.
Cabbage stem flea beetle survey
The NFU is asking growers to participate in an online survey to understand the extent of cabbage stem flea beetle damage in oilseed rape in 2015-16 crops.
The hope is answers to the questionnaire will help assess adult feeding damage in the young plants last autumn and the numbers of larvae found in plants in this spring.
It also seeks to better understand where the real cabbage stem flea beetle hotspots are located around the country.
The questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to complete and all responses are confidential.