Field monitoring of BYDV risk in winter cereals (pilot study)

Project number 21120077

Lead partner Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

Industry partners Agrii

Start date October 2018

End date September 2019

AHDB funding £60,000

Total funding £60,000

The challenge

Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) is mainly transmitted to cereals in the autumn by aphids (bird cherry–oat aphids and grain aphids). These either migrate into the crop from surrounding habitats or the previous crop, via a ‘green bridge’.

Secondary spread by wingless aphids is responsible for BYDV incidence within the crop and is strongly correlated with accumulated temperature (the number of day degrees).

Following the withdrawal of three neonicotinoid seed dressings in December 2018, there is likely to be greater use of foliar applications of pyrethroid insecticides. With resistance to pyrethroids already present in grain aphids, it is vital a monitoring system is developed quickly to optimise their use as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) programme.

The project

The project will:

> Assess the feasibility of developing a field-specific decision-support system for BYDV

> Evaluate the use of field-specific monitoring methodology for aphid vectors of BYDV and the use of a degree day tool to predict spray timings and BYDV infection levels

> Test whether landscape composition, aspect and type of tillage affect immigration of aphids

> Provide key messages on BYDV management

> Provide recommendations on further research needed to develop field-specific monitoring and a decision-support system

A note on virus testing

A new PCR-based assay, developed by Rothamsted Research, that detects low levels of virus infection in single aphids is being used as part of this research.

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