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What is the SpotCheck Initiative?

It's back! Launched in 2017, our free SpotCheck service provides growers and agronomists with a conclusive diagnosis of disease prevalence in oilseed rape crops, with a particular focus on light leaf spot, which is a notoriously difficult disease to identify.

Light leaf spot is an airborne polycyclic disease. It is capable of several infection cycles a season and this is what makes it so hard to control, because the fungus repeatedly releases spores which infect new growth.

The initiative will re-open to receive leaf samples from 1st October.

Disease identification

When samples are received by ADAS, they are incubated at room temperature for 2 – 3 days, to encourage the light leaf spot symptoms to express on the leaf surface. Each of the leaves is then individually inspected and assessed for light leaf spot, Phoma, powdery mildew and downy mildew. If the leaf is suspected to be displaying disease symptoms it is then inspected again under a hand lens or microscope.

The assessment findings are then emailed back within 7 working days, allowing for decisions to be made based on the results.

Sampling instructions

  1. Request a sampling kit
  2. Please plan to sample and post at the start of the week (Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday).
  3. Collect 30-35 leaves from separate representative plants from the whole field by walking in a zig-zag pattern.
  4. Place leaves in sealed plastic bag provided.
  5. Complete the details on the form and place inside the larger envelope with the leaf sample.
  6. Put in the post as soon as possible after sampling.

Sample requirements

Your leaf sample will be incubated for 48 hours and then assessed. This process can take up to 7 days after arrival at the laboratory.

For further information, please get in touch with your local Bayer contact.



October update

During October, 58 samples were received from a spread of geographical areas across the UK to be assessed for light leaf spot, Phoma and mildew.

Of these, five samples in the north of UK were positive for light leaf spot (8%), 40 samples from a spread of locations were positive for Phoma (69%) and 19 also had mildew present (33%).

November Update

During November, 80 samples were received from a spread of locations across England and Scotland. Samples were assessed for light leaf spot, Phoma and mildew.

Phoma was seen in all samples. Light leaf spot was seen in 20 samples (25%) and occurred in all varietal ratings.

Since SpotCheck opened in October 2021:

128 samples have been assessed with 25 samples showing signs of light leaf spot (19%)

December Update

During December, 29 samples were received and assessed for signs of light leaf spot, Phoma, and mildew. Samples were sent from locations across Scotland, and north, south, east, and west of England.

Phoma was observed in all areas, while 16 of the samples (55%) showed signs of light leaf spot across all varietal ratings. Mildew was observed in 8 samples (28%).

January Update

During January, 12 samples were received and assessed for signs of light leaf spot, Phoma, and mildew. Samples were received from growers and agronomists covering the west, east and north east of England, and the Scottish borders.

Phoma was observed in all areas, and signs of light leaf spot were found in 8 out of 12 samples (67%). Those exhibiting signs of light leaf spot included were all varieties with resistance ratings of 5, 6 and 7, however there was no clear variety trend due to the small sample size.


Aviator offers a robust alternative to single-active fungicides to protect oilseed rape from key diseases.

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