Forward this email to a colleague | View this email online

Tweet Button

Crop Research News

HGCA technical information delivered straight to your inbox

Future of crop protection debated

Around 170 representatives of the agricultural industry discussed combating pest, weed and disease threats to UK agriculture at the AHDB Crop Research Conference on Wednesday 25 September.

Throughout the event, speakers emphasised that crop protection is an evolutionary battle with an enemy that can rapidly evolve overcome control measures.

“We are in react mode too often, we need to get more proactive and use genomic techniques to try and work out what the pathogen will do next”

Professor John Lucas of Rothamsted Research

The Agri-Tech Strategy was discussed and is seen as a great opportunity to turn cutting-edge science into a practical reality.

HGCA will assess how approaches discussed at the conference can be incorporated as part of its 2015-2018 research strategy.

A PhD poster competition also showcased the work of 23 up-and-coming researchers. The competition was won by Rachel Goddard of the John Innes Centre for her work on an alternative dwarfing gene in cereal crops, which may offer improved disease resistance.

Full presentations from the conference are available online.

Dr Rosie Bryson and Professor John Lucas

Back to top

HGCA Agronomists’ Conference to investigate input management

The HGCA Agronomists’ Conference 2013 will explore the latest advances in agronomy to help cereal and oilseed agronomists maximise client yield and quality in 2014 and beyond.

Taking place at Peterborough Arena on 10 December, this full-day technical conference will focus on recent developments from HGCA’s research programme.

In particular, the 2013 conference will focus on managing farm inputs to optimise crop yield and quality.

The programme, which will be unveiled in October, will feature:

  • First analysis of HGCA’s independent fungicide performance trials in wheat and barley.
  • Advances in phoma and light leaf spot control in oilseed rape.
  • Developments in phosphate management.
  • The effect of variety, agronomy and weather on crop quality.
  • Grain market prospects for 2014.

The conference includes a resistance management session looking at how plant protection products (PPPs) can best be managed to counter the combined threats of a reduction in PPPs and resistance in pests, diseases and weeds.

Results from an HGCA-funded desk study modelling the possible economic and environmental implications of both adoption and non-adoption of GM technologies in the UK will also be announced at the event.

Attendance costs £45 (including conference papers, lunch, refreshments and VAT).

For further information, or to book a place, visit

BASIS and NRoSO points are available for attendance.

Back to top

Yields hold up despite difficult season

Results from HGCA Recommended List trials have seen yields for control varieties around the average, as shown in the table (figures correct as of 26 September 2013).

For more details, go to

The 2014/15 HGCA Recommended Lists will be launched on 2 December 2013.

Figures correct as of 26 September 2013

Back to top

Survey shows good quality harvest

Dry conditions at harvest have resulted in some of the highest Hagbergs recorded in the past few years, according to the provisional AHDB/HGCA Cereal Quality Survey estimates (released 9 September).

So far, overall GB wheat quality analysed by AHDB /HGCA, from 17,720 samples collected up to 30 August, shows large improvements on the poor quality 2012 crop, with average Hagbergs of 334 seconds and an average specific weight of 77.8kg/hl.

Find out more at

Back to top

Managing cabbage stem flea beetle without neonics

A one-year trial looking at managing cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) without neonicotinoids has started. The research has been commissioned by HGCA in response to the neonicotinoid restriction, which will affect oilseed rape plantings from 2014, and is being conducted by ADAS.

Rothamsted Research is also carrying out tests to establish whether populations of CSFB carry resistance to pyrethroids in the UK. If you strongly suspect that you have CSFB resistance on your farm this season and are interested in providing samples for analysis, please contact

For information on neonicotinoids, visit

Back to top

Pymetrozine approved for aphid control

Pymetrozine has gained full label approval for use against aphids, which transmit turnip yellows virus in oilseed rape.

Pymetrozine is tested as part of the AHDB aphid resistance work (HGCA Project 3768) and, as aphids carry no known resistance, could provide a useful spray option in 2014.

Spray timing is critical, as the active ingredient persists for around two weeks and can be applied only once against aphids in the autumn. HGCA's weekly 'Aphid News' provides vital information on aphid migration to help time spray applications.

Back to top

Aphid News service recommences

HGCA’s Aphid News service (Project 3475) has recommenced in time to help protect vulnerable newly emerged crops.

The first autumn aphid migrations are picked up by the service and can aid decision-making on whether to spray against vectors of turnip yellows virus (TuYV) and barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV).

The first weekly bulletin shows:

Oilseed rape

  • Most winter crops have been sown and the most forward crops in the south have reached the four-leaf stage.
  • The peach–potato aphid was caught in low numbers at three sites.
  • The cabbage aphid was also caught at three sites, with a hotspot at Hereford.
  • No field reports of aphids on emerging oilseed rape have been received.

Winter wheat

  • Numbers of cereal aphids flying are slowly increasing, particularly in northern and western areas.
  • Early drilling of winter wheat has commenced throughout much of the country.
  • Field reports have concentrated on aphids found on volunteer cereals, particularly in eastern England.

This week's edition will be available here later today.

To receive Aphid News directly to your inbox, email (include ‘sign me up to Aphid News’ in the ‘Subject’ line).

For further information on aphids, visit

Back to top

New information sheet on integrated slug management

As newly drilled crops and autumnal weather conditions can lead to slug problems, HGCA and Potato Council have issued a new Information Sheet to assist with integrated slug control in oilseed rape, cereals and potatoes.

Because slug pellets must be applied with caution to prevent contamination of water supplies, the publication also includes the latest information from the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group.

Download the publication here.

Back to top

New guide on when and how to sample grain

The HGCA Grain sampling guide will be published in time for the UK Grain event on 6 November in Peterborough.

The guide highlights best practice across the supply chain from harvest to commercial intake.

Since HGCA’s last grain sampling publication, advances in technology and knowledge have placed additional demands on sampling. The new guide covers recent developments in industry protocols as well as the essentials of when to sample and how to do it. 

To register to receive a copy, email or pick one up at UK Grain.

Back to top

New final reports

Cereals for bioethanol: quantifying the alcohol yield of UK hard wheats and the grain yields and N requirements of triticale in the second cereal position (PR478)

Understanding and predicting alcohol yield from wheat (PR520)

Using legume-based mixtures to enhance the nitrogen use efficiency and economic viability of cropping systems (PR513)

Impact of previous cropping on winter oilseed rape (PR519)

Optimising the use of grain stirrers to enhance on-floor drying (PR520)

Understanding and regulating pre-maturity a-amylase activity in wheat grains to maintain high Hagberg Falling Number (SR25)

UKCPVS annual reports

2012 annual reports from the United Kingdom Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey (UKCPVS)

Coming soon

Oilseed rape disease forecasts

The HGCA-supported 2013/14 disease risk forecasts for light leaf spot and phoma leaf spot will be available in early October at

Information on how best to manage phoma leaf spot and light leaf spot is provided on pages 22-23 of the HGCA Oilseed rape guide.

HGCA plans to release the latest fungicide performance data for oilseed rape in the near future.

Wheat bulb fly egg numbers

Next month, HGCA will issue results from the HGCA-funded wheat bulb fly survey to provide information on egg numbers in selected high-risk field sites in Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire.

The data can help indicate the need for seed treatment against wheat bulb fly and egg hatch or dead heart sprays.

HGCA’s Wheat bulb fly: risk assessment and control publication includes information on control options.

To make sure you get the results, sign up to HGCA's Twitter feed.

OSR crop forward?

HGCA has received reports of forward oilseed rape crops. For information on canopy management in oilseed rape, including PGR effects of fungicides, see the HGCA Oilseed rape guide.

Weed challenges

For practical guidance on weed management across rotations dominated by autumn-sown crops, see HGCA's weed management pages.

Grain Market Outlook Conference 2013

15 October 2013

How prepared is UK agriculture for changes in the global market place?

Attendees at this year’s HGCA Grain Market Outlook Conference will hear from four experts on the 2013 crop, the inside view on Chinese grain and oilseed markets and thoughts on the long-term robustness of the UK arable sector.

Book your place at

Are you organising an arable farmer meeting and looking for a speaker?

If so, AHDB’s Market Intelligence team have analysts available to give market updates and insight.

To find out more, email

Profitable and sustainable farming at CropTec

HGCA will be at the CropTec event on 30/31 October in Peterborough.

The HGCA Stand has been designed around CropTec’s four themes based on profitable and sustainable farming: Crop Nutrition, Crop Protection, Plant Breeding and Managing with Precision.

Members of the HGCA research team will be on hand to discuss the latest thinking on micronutrients, neonicotinoid restrictions, genetic modification and precision farming.

Targeted at growers of cereals and oilseeds, the exhibit will also feature the latest HGCA technical publications – including the Micronutrients for cereals and oilseed rape Information Sheet that will be launched at the event.

Black Isle growers selected as new East Highland Monitor Farms

Black Isle growers Brian and Caroline Matheson from Ballicherry Farm in Balblair have been selected as the new Arable East Highland Monitor Farm in a new joint venture project between HGCA and Potato Council.

Joining the Mathesons on the three-year AHDB project is Grant Cuthill, farm manager for John Gordon at neighbouring Rosefarm which rents land from the Mathesons as part of its 3,000 tonne Pre-basic seed potato enterprise.

Gavin Dick, HGCA Regional Manager Scotland, said the East Highland Monitor Farm would be supported by a community group to ensure it is ‘run by farmers for farmers’.

FAQs on farm-saved seed

An updated BSPB publication outlining the frequently asked questions on the use and supply of certified and farm-saved seed has been updated and can be downloaded from

CSF soil and winter feed production workshop

10 October 2013 (15:30 to 18:30)

Warren Hill Farm

Dorchester DT2 7UH

Join Catchment Sensitive Farming, EBLEX, DairyCo and HGCA at this free on-farm workshop looking at the impact of poor soils, soil assessments and soil improvment.

For further details, including how to book, click here.

Harvest Toolkit

mycotoxins Mycotoxin risk assessment
passport Grain passport
grain storage guide Grain storage guide
grain sampling Grain sampling guidelines
grain Grain sampling worksheet 
calculator Safe storage time calculator
checklist Cereal seller's checklist
checklist Oilseed seller's checklist
wheat prices Latest market news and prices
wheat prices Harvest Results


To unsubscribe from Crop Research News click here. Please notify us of any change to email or fax details, or if you no longer wish to receive HGCA emails unsubscribe here .AHDB operating through its HGCA division seeks to ensure that the information contained within this document is accurate at the time of publication. No warranty is given in respect thereof and, to the maximum extent permitted by law the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused (including that caused by negligence) or suffered directly or indirectly in relation to information and opinions contained in or omitted from this document. © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 2012. All rights reserved.

Stoneleigh Park

T +44 (0)24 7647 8730
F +44 (0)24 7647 8904