Farming News - Growers needed for take-all trial

Growers needed for take-all trial

26 Jun 2013
Arable / Machinery


Growers have the chance to work closely with experts from Rothamsted Research on how variety choice affects the disease take-all.


Volunteers are needed to host two year trials as part of Rothamsted’s 20:20 Wheat project, which builds on previous HGCA work on take-all (project 3480).


“Growers can get an early look at the latest research into take-all,” explains Dr Vanessa McMillan of Rothamsted. “The work so far seems to show that certain wheat varieties cause less build-up of take-all in the soil. Now, we want to find out if this is the case on-farm.”


In the first year of the trial, the field will be divided in half and sown with two different varieties from a list provided by Rothamsted. In year two, the grower can sow any variety and simply needs to keep track of take-all levels and yield across the field.


“There are a few specific requirements we need from growers. Fields should be at least 1ha in size but it is not a problem if they are bigger. It is essential that the previous crop was not a cereal and that the land does not suffer from serious problems with grass weeds. Apart from these, we are quite flexible as we would like results from a wide range of on-farm conditions.”


Anyone interested in taking part should contact Vanessa McMillan or Professor Kim Hammond-Kosack at Rothamsted Research: 01582 763 133 Ext 2247/2527 01582 763 133 Ext 2240.

News in brief: Saddle gall midge larvae on the move


HGCA has received a report of relatively high numbers of newly hatched saddle gall midge larvae at a site in Suffolk.


The sighting demonstrates how pest pressure from saddle gall midge is often localised and sporadic as HGCA survey data of trapped adults in late May/early June at monitoring sites in Buckinghamshire and North Yorkshire were shown to be relatively low.


Typically, blood-red eggs hatch around 1-2 weeks after being laid and the larvae travel down the leaves to feed on the stem underneath the leaf sheath and characteristic saddle-shaped galls form.


When larvae are young, as spotted in Suffolk, they are small and white and not easy to see but will grow to 4-5mm and gradually turn red.


Over the last few years, saddle gall midge has been mainly reported in central England. Growers who suspect that this pest is present on their farms are being urged to consult HGCA Information Sheet 15 Biology and control of saddle gall midge for further information.