Orange blossom midge offensive

29 June 2001

Orange blossom midge offensive

TWICE as much wheat was treated against orange blossom midge this season as usual, estimates ADAS. "I wouldnt be surprised if 0.5m ha were sprayed this year," says entomologist Jon Oakley.

Whether all that was justified is hard to tell, he says. "About 40% of fields need spraying every year. Whether they were targeted very well is hard to tell. Most sprays went on with the T3 fungicide, which is not necessarily the best timing."

Sticky traps to guide growers on the need to spray were tested this season with some success. "Quite a few people have given us positive feedback. Using them is certainly better than going out every evening to spot midges."

Now the hope is to develop the traps with a pheremone fly-attractant under a £400,000 three-year LINK project with other research bodies, breeders, Dow AgroSciences, trap maker Agrisense and hopefully HGCA, says Mr Oakley. &#42

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