HC Deb 15 July 1912 vol 41 cc11-2

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware of the havoc which is being wrought to the oat crop in the West of England by the worm known as Tylenchus devastatrix; what, in the opinion of his expert advisers, is the best method of checking or destroying this pest; whether it is inadvisable where it is prevalent to adopt the common practice of leaving the land under clover seeds on the footing that the same pest is productive of clover sickness; and whether he will publish in the provincial Press any advice on these matters?


There have been many reports of damage done to the oat crop by Tylenchus devastatrix, commonly known as stem eelworm, but there is good reason for believing that much of the damage attributed to this pest is really due to frit fly. I am advised that the best way to check eelworm is to lengthen the rotation. I am also advised that, although the eelworm may destroy clover, it is not the common cause of clover sickness, excellent crops of clover being sometimes secured after a diseased oat crop. The Board have already published a leaflet on eelworm, and I propose to issue a notice to the Press referring both to eelworm and to frit fly, and inviting application for leaflets.


Is it not desirable, before advocating any particular remedy, that the Board should make up its mind whether this particular insect is the frit fly or the eelworm, because each requires different treatment?


What I said was that the insect named in the hon. Member's question was commonly known as the eelworm, and there is good reason to believe that some of the damage attributed to the eelworm is really done by the frit fly.