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Becky Ward, PGRO senior technical officer, advises:

There is now significant pea and bean weevil damage to spring beans and some winter bean crops.

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Pea and bean weevil

There is now significant pea and bean weevil damage to spring beans and some winter bean crops. Where damage is becoming obvious, an insecticide should be applied as soon as possible and repeated after 2 weeks. This will help to disrupt the egg laying period and reduce the potential for larval damage on the root nodules.

Treat winter beans if the growth is backward and damage is outstripping growth.

Field thrips

Damage by thrips has been reported in some pea and bean crops. As peas or beans begin to emerge in the spring, thrips feed inside the tightly rolled leaves of the growing point.

Insecticides applied for weevil control will give good control of thrips in beans. On beans, leaves may appear shiny and speckled with sooty black markings. The underside of bean leaves develop a rusty brown discolouration.

In peas, feeding causes damage to the leaf surface, young leaflets appear pale and slightly distorted and, if held to the light, small translucent markings are obvious. Control is more difficult in peas as the pest is present in the tightly rolled leaflets and cannot be targeted easily by contact-acting pyrethroids. Products with enhanced activity have been found to give better control of thrips in peas than other products.

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