Canola School: Planning for flea beetles and grasshoppers, without lambda-cy... again

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One of the most commonly-used tools for fighting insect pests will be missing from the toolbox in many situations on Canadian farms again in 2024.

There’s been no change to the label for products that contain lambda-cyhalothrin, such as Matador and Silencer, heading into the 2024 growing season, says Ian Epp, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada.

Epp also serves as the council’s point person on maximum residue limit and regulatory issues.

“Unfortunately, we are exactly where we were at this time last year or leading into the ’23 growing season, which is not where we want to be. But that label change that officially took place April 29 of last year is still holding and we’ve had no real progress,” he explains, in this pre-season Canola School episode.

That means products containing lambda-cy cannot be legally applied to crops that end up as animal feed, which includes canola in the vast majority of cases.

Epp recommends coming up with a plan for insect control, especially if multiple spray passes are required throughout the season, with the usual threat of flea beetles after seeding and expectations that grasshoppers will be a problem again later in 2024.

“We know that there is the potential for a bad grasshopper year this year across a good chunk of the Prairies,” he says. “We should be looking at what the options are and from a ‘Keep It Clean’ perspective, making it export ready — how many times can you apply a product, or which product should you use first as an insecticide, and then maybe follow up if you do need a second application.”

He says now is the time to strategize how to balance using different products with overlapping labels, restrictions on timing, and the possibility of multiple insect pest challenges.

“The good news is there are a number of other products that have similar efficacy,” Epp says, noting manufacturers and retailers have also had time to adapt to the label change.

Related:

Canola School: Life without lambda-cy (for one year, at least)

Loss of Matador for managing flea beetles poses challenge for canola production

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