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Derek's Notes



Minimizing Flea Beetle Damage

~ This weeks blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, P.Ag, CCSC

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All Pioneer canola seed come treated with Helix Vibrance.  Seed treatments last 3 to 4 weeks under good growing conditions, however planting canola early and into cooler soils slows germination and plant growth.   In these conditions any seed treatment provides less than optimal protection.  As well lower than recommended seeding rates could increase the risk of damage from flea beetles.   This past spring we notice dry soils slowed emergence.  In areas of high flea beetle populations declining plant stand numbers.   Adding Lumiderm can improve control of flea beetles as well as control cut worm species.

Seed treatments can be maximized when in sync with cropping practices.

Here are some tips and suggestions:

  • Control cruciferous weeds (host for flea beetles)
  • Shallow seeding
  • Optimal canola emergence, 10C which promotes fast germ and plant growth
  • Target 6 to 10 plants per square foot seeding rate (based on 1000 gram weight)
  • Tall stubble interferes with flea beetle movement
  • Flea beetles tend to move in from neighbouring border fields that were canola the previous year.
  • Under hot windy weather flea beetles move great distances, so scout the entire field
  • At 25% damage apply a foliar insecticide (if low plant numbers the threshold should be reduced accordingly).   Attached feeding chart (croptalk, MAFRD)

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