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Pollen Beetle Control!

Date Added: 21/04/2010

Pollen beetles are now seen on the warmer days. While numbers are relatively low at present on some farms their numbers are building. However, more flights into crops are likely to occur if day temperatures rise to above 15 ÂșC.

Spray thresholds remain at 15 beetles/plant in well established crops, and 5 beetles/plant in backward crops. The damage they do is rarely economic. Well established winter oilseed rape crops can produce twice as many flowers as are required to achieve optimum yield so can tolerate the loss of some buds due to pest damage. Even relatively poor crops produce significant numbers of surplus flowers. This year most winter rape crops will be beyond the susceptible green/yellow bud stage before pollen beetles become a serious problem.

Once the crop has about 3-5% open flowers the pollen beetle will simply walk into the open flowers to get at the nectar and leave the buds alone.

Pollen beetle resistance to pyrethroids was again recorded in south-east England in 2009

The message for 2010 is that sprays should be applied only where absolutely essential.

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