Aphid monitoring as a management tool in seed potato production
The aim of the work was to establish the relationships between aphid pressure and the likelihood or risk of subsequent spread of Potato Virus Y (PVY). Aphid monitoring data and in-crop colony counts were carried out to investigate the relationship between water trap data and colonising aphids within the crop. Data at three levels of resolution provided an overview of the distribution of aphids arriving into potato crops between regions, between sites in close proximity and between traps within fields.
Four experiments were carried out in the period 1998-2001 which examined the transmission of PVY within a crop in relation to the local incidence of infection. Experiments to examine mature plant resistance to PVY comprised natural infection or the comparison of inoculation with mechanical methods and cultured aphids. The results provided some further evidence that plants become more resistant to virus infection with age and suggest that mature plant resistance develops rapidly in Cara and more gradually in Maris Piper.
Overall, it was concluded that where aphid vector indices are low, little transmission of PVY is likely to occur even in young plants of susceptible varieties in the presence of nearby sources of infection.
Levy-funded aphid monitoring
From 2004 to 2021 AHDB Potatoes and its predecessor organisations funded an aphid monitoring scheme for seed crops using yellow water traps. There were approximately 100 traps each season and examples of the results (2020 and 2021 seasons) are provided below.