Leatherjackets (the larvae of crane-flies, or daddy long-legs, as they are better known) eat the roots and shoots of cereal plants such as barley, oats and wheat, as well as grass. This can have a devastating effect on these crops. The crane-fly lays its eggs in tussocky grass in late summer, so cereal crops sown after grass are very susceptible to leatherjacket attack. Dursban (which contains organo-phosphate chemical called chlorpyrifos) was the only chemical non-organic farmers could use to control leatherjackets, and it was banned in March 2016. There is very little known about alternative ways to control leatherjackets, and as this is now a problem that affects everyone, we're keen to know more about what could work.
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