Pest poses greater risk to wheat crop

A pest that targets wheat crops poses a higher risk to Yorkshire farms this year, a report by crop specialists HGCA has found.

Thirty soil samples were taken from fields across Northern and Eastern England by the cereals and oilseeds division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board and experts found that 40 per cent of the monitored sites had high risk numbers of autumn wheat bulb fly’s eggs.

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Caroline Nicholls, research and knowledge transfer manager at the HGCA, said: “Although the risk remains relatively low and below the long-term average, all the high-risk fields were in the northern region and growers located here should be a little more cautious this year.”

At risk sites were likely to benefit from an insecticide seed treatment, the HGCA said.

All cereals except oats can be attacked by wheat bulb fly. Winter wheat crops sown from November onwards, or crops sown in spring before the end of March, are particularly vulnerable.