Black aphids – no action requiredBlack aphids can now be found in variable numbers within some crops. The good news is that there are increasing populations of beneficial insects too, so there is no need to treat any crops for black aphids at this stage. In fact, spraying to control black aphids will impact on these beneficial insects leaving the crop vulnerable to later infestations of other pests such as spider mites.Silver Y moths – no action requiredSilver Y moths have been caught in pheromone traps placed within sugar beet crops, particularly Suffolk, and several reports of eggs and caterpillars have been received this week. Monitor crops for Silver Y caterpillar damage; the current spray threshold being 5 caterpillars per plant. Again, be aware that treatments are likely to adversely affect predator populations.IrrigationAs the dry weather continues, many crops are now at the stage where they will respond well to irrigation. Indeed, some irrigation of beet is already underway. Once beet plants wilt, leaves can burn up on hot ground and are lost from the canopy. The best approach is to irrigate before plants start to wilt and 25mm of water should return at least 2.5t/ha at this stage of the season. FungicidesNo foliar diseases have been identified in the UK crop to date, but are likely to be seen soon. We would appreciate any reports of mildew/rust in the coming weeks to help us monitor and advise appropriate treatment timing. It is important that all crops receive a full rate fungicide at disease onset to protect the canopy and maximise yields. Details of BBRO fungicide trial data can be found in the summer issue of the British Sugar Beet Review.Weed beet/boltersWeed beet and bolters are now showing in some crops, although pulling or weed wiping under current warm/hot conditions can be difficult. However, early bolters are rapidly completing flowering and so any hand pulled bolters should be removed from the field to limit seed return.Emergence updateTests remain on-going in four laboratories in the UK and Europe. Preliminary tests are being completed and data assembled. We will report as soon as possible once all tests are completed and the data has been fully analysed.Caution: This information is based on results of experiments and experience but cannot constitute a recommendation.