Dispersal of Botrytis fabae spores and the development of chocolate spot lesions were monitored in crops of winter-sown field beans during the 1980/81, 1981/82 and 1982/83 seasons. The greatest numbers of B. fabae spores collected on horizontal sticky slides exposed in crops were associated with periods of heavy rain and numbers declined if weather was dry. Amounts of chocolate spot developing on leaves of young potted plants exposed in crops near the slides followed the same trends as spore numbers. When numerous spores were collected, abundant chocolate spot developed on the leaves of tagged plants in the crops. Benomyl sprays were applied (at 0·5 kg a.i./ha) either after peaks in numbers of spores collected or according to crop growth stages. Sprays applied in January–April generally gave no increase in yield whether or not timed according to spore peaks. The greatest yields were obtained from plots sprayed in late May, at the midflowering stage of crop growth.