Flea Beetle Pressure Very High: Farmers Encouraged to Scout Daily

If you scouted your canola field for flea beetle damage even a day or two ago, it’s time to get out there and do it again.

Kristen Phillips, agronomy specialist in Manitoba for the Canola Council of Canada, is reporting a few thousand acres near Brandon will have to be reseeded because of excessive flea beetle feeding. “Our cool spring has meant that canola was slow to get going. Typically, canola into the 3- to 4-leaf stage can grow through flea beetle feeding, but we’re seeing very aggressive feeding and slow growth,” she says. Even canola seeding in mid-May may need to be scouted for another five days or more.

What’s more, some canola only went in a week ago and is coming up to very high pressure. Canola seeded three weeks ago is now running out of the protection offered by the seed treatment, and it shows. “The Ultimate Canola Challenge site at Portage la Prairie saw flea beetle damage jump from 5% to 10% to over 30% over the weekend,” Phillips says.

Farmers who have sprayed are warned to re-visit and re-scout fields. “One spray may not be enough,” Phillips says. Unfortunately, numbers are so high that a second insecticide treatment may be necessary.

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