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Flea Beetle Defense: How Seeding Can Help

According to the Canola Council of Canada, Canola is a crop that contributes approximately $26.7 billion to the Canadian economy every year. Biotechnology companies have made great strides in producing varieties with characteristics such as disease resistance, early maturity and reduced pod shattering. However, with all these agronomic advancements, farmers must still contend with the issue of insect damage – with one of the most important pest related to canola, being the flea beetle.

Each canola company treats their seed with an insecticide which gives the young plant protection once it is out of the ground. Unfortunately, this protection only lasts for a certain amount of time. If the plants do not grow past their susceptible early growth stage by the time the seed treatment wears off, it’s open-season for the beetles on your canola investment. Liquid insecticide applications, such as Matador or Decis are sometimes covered by the seed manufacturer, but the application itself also costs time and money.

Canola plants are most prone to injury until the fourth leaf stage, at which point damage is usually minimal. Therefore, it is important to get the canola crop off to a good start as quick as possible, to ensure it gets past the early seedling stage before the insects take hold. Seed Hawk’s precision fertilizer placement close to the seed allows rapid uptake of nutrients to advance the crop past the susceptible stage and mitigate the risk of flea beetle damage. In addition, foliar insecticide application also eliminates beneficial parasitic insects, which help control the flea beetle population in the future. Environmental impact is always a concern, and Seed Hawk’s quick emergence is a mechanical control to help reduce this issue.

 

Link to Canola Council site on Flea Beetles:  http://www.canolacouncil.org/canola-encyclopedia/insects/flea-beetles/

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