Cultivation/Production, Pests and Diseases

UK: Early start forecast for potato and brassica aphids

Image: Andy MurrayAphid pests of brassicas and potatoes are forecast to fly two to three weeks earlier than average this spring, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the UK. The temperature in January and February was around 1 to 1.5°C higher than the long-term average throughout much of England, though not in Scotland. Mark Taylor of Rothamsted Research, who compiles the AHDB forecasts, said: “Over the last 50 years, the mean January/February temperature has shown the strongest correlation with the timing and size of aphid migrations.” But December’s record-breaking temperatures of over 4°C above the long-term average was “way outside anything experienced by the aphid forecasting team”, he added. “We await with interest to see if the warm December causes the first flights to deviate significantly from those forecast.” (Source: Hortweek)

The first aphids are forecast to be caught later this month in suction traps stationed on a network of farms.

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