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.
What are field labs?
Our field labs are DIY research trials, run with on farms and holdings across Scotland. We want to help you find out what really works, on your land, for your business.
Our field labs bring land managers together with researchers to find real-word, practical solutions for tricky farm problems.
Each field lab group researches an issue proposed by the farmers and growers themselves, testing out results across their own holdings. Each group meets up to four times for over a period of up to two years to track the progress of the DIY trial and compare notes.
Find out more about our full range of field labs in Scotland.
Find out more about this field lab
Contact us to find out more about this field lab, or to get involved. We'll be posting reports and key information here as it becomes available. Read more about activity so far: