Science Into Practice - Novel strategies for pest control

Pest damage can often be the factor that determines whether a field vegetable crop is marketable or not and it can occur after major investment in land preparation, plant raising, fertiliser application, etc.

A number of key pest insects are particularly difficult to control with available treatments and this armoury may be reduced as a result of EU and other pesticide reviews. It is important to ensure that any potential opportunities for developing new controls are evaluated.

HDC project FV 375 assessed new methods of pest control for pest/crop combinations. It included an evaluation of novel treatments for the control of cabbage root fly on cauliflower, broccoli florets and radish; aphids, whitefly, flea beetle and caterpillars on leafy brassicas; carrot fly and aphids on carrot; thrips and bean seed fly on leek; and aphids on lettuce.

For brassicas, a novel active was effective against a range of pests when applied pre-planting or as a foliar spray. Control of cabbage root fly on roots and broccoli florets, and aphids, caterpillars, flea beetle, leaf miners and whitefly on foliage, was noted, as well as bigger plant size and cauliflower yield.

A seed treatment and a foliar spray showed activity against whitefly and the efficacy of approved aphid and caterpillar treatments was confirmed. For carrot, Coragen (Rynaxypyr chlorantraniliprole) was at least as effective as and sometimes better than the standard insecticide treatment for carrot fly. For leek, a novel seed treatment gave some early control and several sprays were partially effective.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit www.hdc.org.uk


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