Cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) is the most important pest of winter oilseed rape (WOSR), however widespread resistance to pyrethroids has limited the effectiveness of chemical control. The recent AHDB research project ‘Integrated pest management (IPM) of CSFB in oilseed rape’ identified several potential alternative control options. However, significant knowledge gaps in pest biology and phenology remain, including the factors that influence adult migration and larval invasion, and the relationship between larval load and crop damage. These knowledge gaps limit the extent to which risk prediction (e.g. adult migration prediction and monitoring) and bespoke risk mitigation (e.g. targeted control at specific CSFB life-stages) strategies can be developed and deployed by growers. Filling these knowledge gaps will improve decisions on selecting and timing CSFB control methods. The proposed project will investigate the factors which influence adult migration (enabling better prediction of the start, magnitude and length of adult migration), monitoring to predit adult feeding damage, adult preference for crop stages (identifying the crop stages which are preferred by migrating adults will allow trap crop growth stages to be optimised), the impact of temperature on egg and larval development (allowing larval risk to be better predicted), and the effect of larval number, invasion date, and crop condition on crop development (allowing the impact of larvae on crop yield to be determined and mitigation strategies better deployed).
Research into the phenology and population biology of cabbage stem flea beetle
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds
Harper Adams University