Vining pea pest threatening to establish itself in UK

Pea bruchid (Bruchus pisorum), an increasingly widespread pest of vining peas in Europe, could establish itself in the UK, the Processors & Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) has warned.

"There is a risk that it could be seen in the UK if average temperature continues to gradually increase," according to PGRO senior technical officer Becky Ward.

Ward has written a fact sheet, just published by the Horticultural Development Company (HDC), outlining identification, management and control options for the pest, which is also known as pea weevil.

The fact sheet also explores the likelihood of it becoming established in the UK and the potentially serious impact. Initial research shows that heavy infestations could lead to 10 per cent yield losses before harvest and further damage during harvest because infested peas are more likely to shatter.

HDC knowledge transfer manager Rosie Atwood added: "It is essential that imported seed is free of pea bruchid if we are to prevent it becoming a significant pest in the UK."

Field vegetable fact sheet 01/12 is available for HDC levy payers to download from Hard copies can be ordered by calling 02476 478661 and are free to levy payers.

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