Ban of neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments pushes UK farmers to grow non-GMO disease-resistant wheat

screenshot mild autumn increases virus threat to cereal crops farmers weekly
Barley yellow dwarf virus in wheat. Credit: Farmers Weekly

Season-long protection against barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) without the use of insecticides is set to become a reality through genetics, as the first winter wheat variety containing the Bdv2 resistance gene nears the market.

Claimed to be a breakthrough in variety development, Wolverine from RAGT is up for recommendation later [in 2020] and looks to be holding its own as a feed wheat, with strong yield performance and good agronomic characteristics complementing its BYDV resistance.

[I]ts introduction is expected to be well received by cereal growers as they prepare for another autumn drilling campaign without the benefit of Deter seed treatments.

Related article:  Viewpoint: How the Organic Trade Association flunked Science 101—No, organics are not 'chemical free'

The only alternative control, pyrethroid sprays timed to coincide with aphid migration into crops, are increasingly becoming less effective against aphid vectors.


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