Grain aphids could be greater threat to 2012 grain harvest

Publications released to educate on management, best practices

The 2012 harvest may see a greater and more challenging aphid migration into cereal crops as a consequence of growing instances of pyrethroid resistance in the grain aphid (Sitobion avenae), according to the Home Grown Cereals Authority and the Insecticide Resistance Action Group.

This could have implications for barley yellow dwarf virus control this autumn, said the two groups. Home Grown Cereals Authority-supported testing carried out by Rothamsted Research has shown that aphids carrying the kdr mutation — associated with resistance to pyrethroids — have increased in frequency in 2012. The mutation was first identified in the UK in 2011,mostly in East Anglia.

Two new publications have been released which will assist with management of grain aphids in autumn 2012, including best practice measures to limit the risk of resistance and strategies that could be deployed if resistance is suspected during the autumn spraying period. A new Home Grown Cereals Authority publication contains the latest information on aphid management in both cereals and oilseed rape. A new Insecticide Resistance Action Group publication provides specific advice on the control of grain aphid populations that may contain individuals with resistance to pyrethroid sprays.