Development of an integrated pest management strategy for control of pollen beetles in winter oilseed rape

Summary

Sector:
Cereals & Oilseeds
Project code:
PR504
Date:
01 March 2008 - 28 February 2012
Funders:
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.
AHDB sector cost:
£132,000 from HGCA (£100,000 cash + £32,000 in kind).
Project leader:
Samantha M. Cook1 , Thomas F. Döring2,3, Andrew W, Ferguson1 , Janet L. Martin1 , Matthew P. Skellern1 , Lesley E. Smart1, Nigel P. Watts1, Sue J. Welham1,4, Christine Woodcock1 and John A. Pickett3 with Industrial project partners: Eileen Bardsley5 , Jo Bowman6 , Sean Burns7 , Matthew Clarke8 , Jackie Davies9 , Carl Gibbard10 , Andreas Johnen11 , Richard Jennaway12 , Richard Meredith5 , Darren Murray4 , Mark Nightingale13, Nigel Padbury7 , Colin Patrick12 , Julia-Sophie von Richthofen11 , Peter Taylor14 , Michael Tait15 and Peter Werner10 and Project officers from our funding bodies: Jemilah Bailey (FFG, Defra)16, George Rothschild (HSE-CRD)17 , James Holmes, Caroline Nicholls & Jenna Watts (AHDB-HGCA)18 1Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ; 2Imperial College London Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2AZ; 3Elm Farm, Hamstead Marshall, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 0HR; 4VSN International, 5 The Waterhouse, Waterhouse St., Hemel Hempstead, HP1 1ES; 5 Bayer CropScience, Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WB; 6 Limagrain UK, Rothwell, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, LN7 6DT 7 Syngenta Seeds, 30 Priestley Road, Surrey Research Park, Guildford, GU2 7YH; 8 Monsanto UK, Building 2030, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6DW; 9 Oecos, 11a High Street, Kimpton, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 8RA; 10KWS UK Ltd, 56 Church Street, Thriplow, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 7RE; 11proPlant GmbH, Albrecht-Thaer Straße 34, 48147 Münster, Germany; 12Saaten-Union UK, Rosalie Field Station, Bradley Road, Cowlinge, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 9HU; 13Elsoms Seeds Ltd, Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 1QG; 14Association of Independent Crop Consultants Limited (AICC), Agriculture Place, East Meon, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 1PN; 15Syngenta Crop Protection UK, CPC 4, Capital Park, Fulbourn, Cambridge, CB21 5XE; 1 16Food and Farming Group, Department for food, farming and rural affairs, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR; 17Health & Safety Executive - Chemical Regulation Directorate, Mallard House Kings Pool, 3 Peasholme Green, YORK, YO1 7PX; 18Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board – Home Grown Cereals Authority, Stoneleigh Park Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2TL

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About this project

Abstract

We have developed an integrated pest management strategy (IPM) for pollen beetles in winter oilseed rape (OSR) based on risk assessment, monitoring and alternative crop management that can be used as a framework by growers and crop consultants to manage pollen beetles with reduced insecticide inputs - and the confidence to do so. This will prolong insecticide life by reducing selection for resistance, reduce environmental impacts and contribute towards the sustainability and profitability of OSR in the UK. One of the major limitations to the use of action thresholds is that proper monitoring of the populations is time consuming and has to be conducted over a prolonged period. To encourage and facilitate their use, we tested and developed tools to improve risk assessment and monitoring. We conducted a pollen beetle monitoring study over 4 years in 178 OSR crops across the UK. Pollen beetles were sampled using sticky traps and plant sampling along transects in the crop. The data were used to help test a decision support system (DSS) for pollen beetles and to develop a monitoring trap. proPlant Expert is a DSS available in mainland Europe that uses a model of pollen beetle immigration and local meteorological data to forecast the start and end of pollen beetle immigration into the crop and main risk periods and advises when to monitor. We tested the model under UK conditions using data from our study and compared monitoring advice with the current advice system on the CropMonitor website (advises monitoring when the crop is at green-yellow bud stage and temperature >15°C). Both performed reassuringly well in prompting monitoring that would detect breaches of spray thresholds. However there were considerable reductions provided by proPlant in the need for consultation of the system (30%) and advised monitoring days (34-53%) in comparison with current advice. Use of the proPlant DSS could therefore focus monitoring effort to when it is most needed. It could also help to reduce unnecessary sprays in cases where beetle numbers are approaching threshold but consultation of the system returns a poor immigration risk forecast or an immigration complete result. The proPlant tool is now freely available to growers and crop consultants in the UK via the Bayer CropScience website. A monitoring trap for pollen beetles would help to more easily and accurately identify when spray thresholds have been breached than monitoring plants in the crop. We developed a baited monitoring trap for pollen beetles which will be commercially available from Oecos. The trap comprises a yellow sticky card mounted at 45°, baited with phenylacetaldehyde, a floral volatile produced naturally by several plant species. Unfortunately using data from our study we were unable to calibrate the trap catch to a given action threshold expressed as the number of beetles per plant using a simple linear relationship. However, the monitoring trap still has value for risk assessment, especially if used together with DSS. We tested the potential of turnip rape (TR) trap crops, planted as borders to the main OSR crop to reduce pollen beetle numbers in a field scale experiment conducted over three years on two sites. We found evidence that the strategy worked well in some years, but not others. This tactic is probably practically and economically worthwhile only for organic growers.

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