Farmer-led aphid monitoring could reduce pesticide use in tackling BYDV

A new study by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has concluded that a simple field-based monitoring system, run by farmers, could help reduce the use of insecticide spraying to tackle barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) in cereal crops following the 2019 ban on neonicotinoid seed dressing insecticides.Barley yellow dwarf virus is the most economically important virus disease of cereal crops with the potential to reduce yields by 30% in wheat and 75% in barley.

The virus is transmitted by cereal aphids that fly into the crop with yields being most reduced by autumn infestations.

The threat of the BYVD disease is now much higher following the ban on three neonicotinoid insecticides in 2019, which previously were applied as seed dressings to protect the young plants.

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