3 February - Products and pests

Revocations - Check products in your chemical store including Basilex, Contans WG, Couraze, Cuprokylt, Eradicoat, Imidasect 5GR, Laser, Serenade ASO and T34 Biocontrol for MAPP number expiry dates approaching in the coming months. All have replacement MAPP numbers and new expiry dates.

Whitefly - Control overwintering pests using contact-acting products including Agri-50E, Decis, Eradicoat, Majestik, SB Plant Invigorator, Hallmark WZT (EAMU 2008-2944), Pyrethrum 5EC, Savona, Spruzit or Toppel 100 (EAMU 2015-1454). Avoid frost before, during and after applications. Avoid using synthetic pyrethroids after January to prevent any potential issues with predator establishment in the spring.

Botrytis - Ventilate protected structures as often as possible. Control infections using Octave, Rovral WG (EAMU 2011-3200) and Serenade ASO (EAMUs required).

Water stress - Warm, sunny days and frozen pots, particularly with evergreen crops, can produce drought conditions. Apply anti-transpirant products before such weather conditions occur to help reduce transpiration levels.

Mice - Damage is easier to see through the cold months on protected crops. Mice tend to leave slithers of uneaten stem at the base of the damaged area. Control with bait stations or traps.

Damping-off - Check seedling material and apply products as required such as Basilex, Cuprokylt (EAMU 2015-1176), Prestop (EAMU 2015-2773), Previcur Energy (EAMU 2011-1557), Proplant (EAMUs required), Serenade ASO (EAMUs required), Subdue or T34 Biocontrol (EAMUs required). Some products may not have specific approval for these diseases but will provide good control.

Pine aphid - Check Pinus spp., Juniperus 'Skyrocket'; Picea abies and Picea pungens during dry, bright conditions, which can encourage aphid activity. Pest feeding causes needle drop, which is not usually seen until early summer. Check crops and spray with Aphox, Decis (non-IPM) or Hallmark WZT (non-IPM, EAMU 2008-2944). Pyrethrum 5EC is also effective and will have a shorter-term effect on biological controls. Use a wetting agent (according to label and EAMU instructions) to get good penetration into branch axils. Cold weather will not provide good enough control of this pest.

Winter jobs - Get under cover in poor weather and start tidying up climbing plants. Get them caned and tied in ready for the coming season.

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