Management of aphid and BYDV risk in winter cereals


Cereals & Oilseeds
Project code:
26 August 2019 - 25 August 2022
BASF, KWS, Limagrain and BASF
AHDB sector cost:
Total project value:
£314,500: Additional funds (£20,000) and in-kind contributions (£104,500) are provided by the project’s industry partners
Project leader:
ADAS (scientific partners: Rothamsted Research. Industry partners: BASF, KWS, Limagrain and Syngenta)


21120077a Annual Project Report (2020)

About this project

The challenge

Various aphid species, particularly the bird cherry–oat aphid and grain aphid, transmit Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) to cereal crops. BYDV management needs to change, primarily because of two important developments. Firstly, moderate levels of pyrethroid resistance are widespread in UK grain aphid populations. Secondly, neonicotinoid seed treatments are no longer available to protect the crop during its critical early growth stages. Limited chemical armoury and the requirements of the Sustainable Use Directive mean BYDV management will rely on an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy. However, there are significant gaps in the availability of effective pest monitoring approaches and decision support systems (DSS).

The project

This project aims to improve BYDV management through the development of effective and economical BYDV vector monitoring and decision support systems (DSS). The project will investigate the potential to use suction trap data to predict aphid numbers, including those carrying BYDV, in nearby field crops. It will also explore the potential to use image analysis to identify cereal aphids in suction traps. Additionally, the project will assess the reliability of in-field monitoring approaches, such as sticky traps and water traps. Finally, the work will develop two DSS. Firstly, a ‘risk DDS’, to predict BYDV risk prior to drilling, using various field-specific factors (e.g. location, land use, drill date and varietal choice). Secondly, a ‘spray DSS’, to predict the need for (and timing of) insecticide sprays. The work will also examine the effect of tolerant varieties on BYDV management.

The benefits

Ultimately, this project aims to give farmers/agronomists the information and tools to predict field-level BYDV infection risk more accurately. This will help them avoid the use of insecticide treatments when infection risk is likely to be low. It will also help with the prioritisation of any spray. More accurate information will help people maintain/improve aphid control and reduce insecticide use. In turn, this will help protect efficacy (e.g. by reducing resistance risks) and reduce risks to the environment.