Tillage farmers are wanted to help expand and improve the Teagasc aphid monitoring network.

Since 2020, three aphid monitoring towers have been erected by Teagasc in Carlow, Dublin and Cork.

A fourth tower is planned for north Leinster and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute also has a tower in its research centre in Co Down, Northern Ireland.

The towers are 12.2m in height and suck in passing insects on a daily basis. The insects are then stored in collection jars before being separated, identified and tested for BYDV.

The towers are helping to bridge the knowledge gap around BYDV transmission and improve integrated pest management practices for aphid control.

However, Teagasc is now looking to expand its sampling capabilities and is seeking growers to help do it.

Growers wanted

Speaking at this week’s National Tillage Conference, Louise McNamara issued a call for growers who are interested in getting involved in their aphid monitoring network.

In addition to the three suction towers, Teagasc also wants to gather infield data which will be collected through specific insect traps and visual crop walking.

Louise explains that the aim is to compare the information received from fields and compare it with the data gathered from the different monitoring points. Ultimately, the aim is to improve the advice and information Teagasc can give to farmers.

If anyone is interested in hosting aphid traps in both their spring barley and winter barley crops this season, contact Louise on Louise.mcnamara@teagasc.ie.


Last year, Siobhan Walsh visited the aphid suction tower in Teagasc Oak Park to learn how it works. Watch the video below.