This project addresses the topic ‘new or existing techniques that will help drive the agricultural industry forward with the use of IPM’. Integrated pest management (IPM) reduces reliance on synthetic pesticides by using monitoring to inform the use of controls, preventing pest problems wherever possible and using a diverse range of controls. Synthetic pesticides should, wherever possible be considered as a last resort to crop protection. For barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) reliable and specific monitoring of the virus vectors, bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) and English grain aphid (Sitobion avenae) as well as effective alternatives to pyrethroid insecticides are needed. This project investigates the potential use of trap crops, such as the heritage wheat variety Maris Huntsman, to reduce numbers of virus vectors entering crops. The potential of using volatile chemicals associated with preferred hosts of BYDV vectors to improve the reliability and specificity of in-crop monitoring will also be investigated.
The project has three objectives:
Objective 1: Investigate the potential of using plants that are preferred hosts for BYDV vectors to reduce the numbers of aphids entering the crop.
Objective 2: Record the responses of natural enemies of BYDV vectors to trap crop and AHDB Recommended Lists varieties to determine the potential of conservation biological control being used in conjunction with trap cropping.
Objective 3: Identify and exploit the volatile chemicals produced by highly susceptible heritage winter wheat varieties, such as Maris Huntsman and those associated with BYDV infection, to improve reliability of in-crop monitoring of cereal aphids.
Harper Adams University