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Pests in winter cereals and grassland – Dec 2019

5 March 2020

Growers should check for damaging leatherjacket activity in autumn-sown grass reseeds and winter cereals.

Determine the cause of any poor cereal emergence or patches of poor grass establishment.  A DIY method to look for leatherjackets in the growing crop is by searching the soil by hand – row scratching.  Ten 30 cm lengths of crop rows from areas exhibiting suspected damage should be removed by trowel to beneath root depth.  The soil can then be hand sorted for leatherjackets, over a tray or empty fertiliser bag. With the loss of chlorpyrifos, options are limited to rolling to try and crush the grubs in the soil.

The cold weather will have put a stop on aphid flights into crops for the next few months, and whilst the recent hard frosts will have made life difficult for aphids, any return of milder weather may well allow some aphids to multiply and potentially spread BYDV. Look for aphid colonies on leaves on mild sunny days and take action if found.

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