Farm Ireland

Thursday 14 December 2017

Barley virus spreads as resistance increases

Spring crops were planted late this year.
Spring crops were planted late this year.

An increase in Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) in spring and winter barley crops in recent weeks has been attributed to a ­combination of sowing dates and increasing resistance in aphids to the most common insecticides.

"This was pretty predictable given that there's growing aphid resistance and spring crops were planted late," said Teagasc's crop specialist Michael Hennessy.

However, the expert added that farmers should not panic since even crops that had a noticeable level of the disease present would still yield well. "You'd notice it straight away, even when it is at less than 5pc, and I'd be hopeful that it will remain at that level," he said.

"So far crops look like they have great ­potential but this damp weather is coming just at the wrong time for wheat. Something similar happened in 2012 when crops were hit with fusarium at this stage," he added.

Merchants report a big swing towards seed treatment on autumn-sown crops to protect them against aphids.

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