Sugar beet growers advised to check crops for aphids

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The Rothamsted Insect Survey has recorded the first peach–potato aphid (Myzus persicae) catches of 2022 and BBRO has reported that green wingless aphids are increasingly being found in non-Cruiser (thiamethoxam) treated sugar beet crops.

BBRO advise growers to check non-Cruiser treated crops as a priority and consider spraying if above the aphid threshold of one green wingless aphid per four plants up until the 12-leaf stage.

Current foliar spray options are Certis’ insecticide InSyst (acetamiprid) or flonicamid and one application of each is permitted per crop.

Certis technical specialist Henry Welham recommends using InSyst first. He says: “Its rapid knockdown prevents early virus build up which has the greatest impact on yield.

“InSyst has also shown good persistence in trials keeping aphid numbers very well controlled for two weeks following treatment.”

Application window

The application window for InSyst is BBCH 12 (first pair of leaves unfolded) to 39 (crop cover complete) but if applied between BBCH 12 and 19 (nine or more leaves unfolded), as is likely this year, Mr Welham notes the label restriction that acetamiprid must not be applied to the same field until the second spring after application to sugar beet.

So far there have been no reports of wingless aphids on Cruiser treated crops and BBRO remind growers that if they need to spray, if above threshold, they must start with flonicamid, the active in insecticides Teppeki or Afinto.

The BBRO aphid-monitoring network is now active and available on BBROplus which growers can access via the BBRO website: www.bbro.co.uk

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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.