HGCAs Aphid News service forecasts that aphids are likely to fly considerably later than normal this year, especially in the south. The HGCA service, led by Rothamsted Research, uses aphid data from the suction trap network and long-term weather data to forecast the start of aphid flights and aphid abundance in spring and early summer.
Dr Susannah Bolton, HGCA Head of Research and KT, said, Average temperatures in January and February can be used to forecast the first aphid flights. As this winter was colder than the long-term average throughout the country it means that aphid flights are expected to occur much later this year.
In the southern half of the country, as average temperatures were between 1oC and 2oC below normal, the first aphid flights are expected to be two to four weeks later than average. In the northern half of the country, as average temperatures were less than 1oC below normal, the first aphid flights are expected to be up to two weeks later than average.
With spring plantings more common this year, growers should pay particular attention to late-drilled spring crops, because they will tend to be at vulnerable growth stages for longer during the aphid flight. Whatever the cropping situation, HGCA encourages growers and agronomists to sign up to its Aphid News service to keep up-to-date with regional aphid activity as well as information on virus transmission and potential resistance issues.
The industry is also being reminded of HGCAs aphid management publication (Information Sheet 16) released in autumn last year.
To view the forecasts for 2013 (which include regional analysis) or to subscribe to the weekly Aphid News service, which commences in mid-April, visit www.hgca.com/pests