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Aphid advice to stop virus spread at Potato Science Live

Agronomy Issues
Aphid on potato leaf
Tracking aphid species migration is key to timing appropriate control strategies where required in potato crops to prevent virus transmission

Where aphids pose a threat in the potato crop, growers need to start control strategies with a fast-acting knockdown option for non-persistent viruses, before aphids start probing plants for food, advocates Syngenta Insecticide Technical Manager, Dr Max Newbert. 

Speaking at Syngenta Potato Science Live he pointed out that infection can take just seconds with virus infected aphids. 

Dr Max Newbert - potaoes

Max’s strategy for 2019 would be to start with Hallmark Zeon, before switching to thiacloprid and then pymetrozine or flonicamid where required for seed crops. If pyrethroid resistant aphids are present, always use an alternative mode of action, he suggested.

Whilst spirotetramat had historically given good levels of aphid kill, its slow action will have little effect on points of non-persistent virus infection. Furthermore, in research trials, thiacloprid appeared to initially irritate treated aphids and stimulated greater probing, leading to increased virus transmission before the aphids were killed.   

However, Max urged growers to carefully assess risk and aphid migration patterns, to only use insecticides where truly required and justified. 

He also warned that with the loss of seed treatments in cereal crops for BYDV aphids, growers should be aware of issues with over reliance on foliar insecticides, particularly pyrethroid sprays – which would also have implications for control in potato crops. Treatments should only be applied when thresholds are reached, he advised.

Potato Science Live logo

This season’s extended series of Syngenta Potato Science Live events gave growers and agronomists an exciting insight into some of the future technologies designed to enhance the efficiency and profitability of potato crop production.

With a range of speakers and specialists from across the industry, Potato Science Live provided a first look at a range of new agronomy opportunities, along with some ideas and practical measures that could be readily implemented this season.


Read more reports from Potato Science Live. Click on the links below:

Syngenta Potato Science looks to clean soil start

Potato Science Live sees Green Headland hits to aphids

Potato Science Live focus on blight change implications