Chemistry is fast disappearing from farming’s toolbox, but researchers and farmers in Scotland are working together to trial alternative solutions to protect the high health status of the seed potato industry.
Milder weather in January and February has put beet crops at a greater risk of contracting virus yellows disease this season.
Wynnstay has established its first regional demonstration site in the East Midlands to help arable growers select more robust varieties based on their location.
Today the independent Rothamsted virus yellows model triggered the need to use the neonicotinoid seed coating on sugar beet for this season.
Oilseed rape crops have been set back in some areas with leaf loss and bleaching induced by heavy frosts, combined with both cabbage stem flea beetle and rape stem weevil larvae damage.
With beet moth damage also causing yellowing in sugar beet crops, British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) lead scientist warns the disease threat of virus yellows remains.
Farmers who want to adopt more sustainable and environmentally friendly farming methods could face lower short-term margins, but the long-term benefits could outweigh the losses, according to the results of a trial in Scotland.
Sugar beet growers could have access to the neonicotinoid seed treatment Cruiser SB (thiamethoxam) to protect the 2023 crop from virus yellows disease.
Many growers are already looking to combat insecticide use on-farm, but other agricultural inputs could also be having an impact on beneficial insect populations.
One of the key disadvantages in the use of pyrethroid insecticides is their assumed effect on beneficial insect populations, but there are actions farmers still using insecticides can take to protect beneficials.
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