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ID Number:    20180548
Program:    ADOPT
Pages:   13
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Title:    Demonstration of methods to control flea beetles in a non-neonic environment
To provide information to area producers about the alternative options available to control flea beetles in canola should Canada proceed with a ban on neonicotinoids
To provide a backdrop to discuss the potential impact on non-target and beneficial insects, and other pest management strategies that could be used.

Abstracts for project:  
A demonstration of methods to control flea beetles in a non-neonic environment was carried out in two locations at the Conservation Learning Centre (CLC) near Prince Albert and the South-East Research Farm (SERF) near Redvers in 2019. Helix Vibrance (thiamethoxam) treated and untreated canola seed was compared to three foliar insecticides Decis (deltamethrin), Pounce (permethrin), and Malathion (malathion), and three cultural methods including higher seeding rate, early seeding date and intercropping. Striped flea beetle pressure was high at the CLC and there was a lower and later crucifer flea beetle presence at SERF. The helix neonic seed treatment improved plant stands at both sites, but appeared to be more effective on the crucifer population in Redvers. The use of Decis and Malathion resulted in a 10 bu/ac yield increased compared to the early seeding date. Due to dry spring conditions and a waiting population of flea beetles in Prince Albert, the early seeding date was not successful in reducing flea beetle damage. Intercropping appeared to be effective in reducing flea beetle damage in Redvers, but canola yields were drastically reduced, and pea yields were low due to unequal maturity in the intercrop. This demonstration investigated various methods to control flea beetles, but did not investigate any methods in combination. When managing flea beetles the recommended practice is to use a combination of cultural and chemical controls. The preferred strategy for chemical controls is to use a seed treatment because flea beetles can destroy plant stands quickly, before a post-emergence insecticide can be applied. This trial demonstrated that there are other methods available to control flea beetles should the preferred method of control be banned. However, there is a risk of not being able to apply foliar insecticides in time, and foliar insecticides are not flea beetle control specific. This trial was featured at the July 2019 CLC Field Day with approximately 50 people in attendance and the SERF tour of this trial on July 18 with 30 people in attendance.