Tiny pests pack big economical punch

Tiny pests pack big economical punch

1 November 2016

Common insect pests like springtails, aphids and Argentine stem weevil might be small in size, but the economic damage they cause in summer and winter feed crops is anything but minor.

Crop seedlings and young plants are especially vulnerable and once damage has occurred, not much can be done to rectify the effect this has on final dry matter (DM) yield.

That’s why monitoring for insect pests is so important. However, by the time the signs of insect feeding are spotted, often the damage is already done.

The first step towards optimising crop yields from fodder beet and forage brassicas this season is surveillance. Inspect young crop seedlings carefully for signs of insect pests every one or two days in the first few weeks after emergence. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it could make a big difference later.

Step two is knowing your enemy. Each pest has its own characteristics, preferred conditions and habitat, and highest risk period. Greasy cutworm, for example, not only cuts off brassica and fodder beet seedlings at ground level, but often stores parts of severed plants underground, allowing them to remain below the soil surface for several days during bad weather.

This spring however, greasy cutworm has met its match in fodder beet. Kaiso® 50WG from Nufarm has just become the first synthetic pyrethroid insecticide to be registered for use in fodder beet crops, and is specifically labelled for control of greasy cutworm.1

Nufarm product manager Duncan Ibbotson says, “This is an important development for the increasing number of farmers and growers sowing fodder beet. Cutworm is a known problem in beet and can be quite damaging early in the life of the crop because beet has fewer plants per hectare (/ha) and takes much longer to establish than other fodder species like brassicas.”

Kaiso 50WG is complemented in the Nufarm beet range by Attack® insecticide, which is registered for use against springtails, leaf miner, Argentine stem weevil, Nysius and aphids.

Both Kaiso 50WG and Attack are recommended for use in forage brassica crops, which are equally vulnerable to infestation by a wide range of pests at critical stages of crop development.

Kaiso 50WG can be used to control greasy cutworm in forage brassicas, along with the caterpillars of diamond back moth and white butterfly. Attack covers the same spectrum of brassica pests as for fodder beet (springtails, leaf miner, Argentine stem weevil, Nysius and aphids) with the addition of diamond back moth and white butterfly caterpillars.

For more advice on keeping insect pests at bay in your feed crops this season, talk to your local Fonterra Farm Source team today.

1P.J. Addison, G.M. Barker, A.C. Firth and G.B. Brown: Evaluation of Lambdacyhalothrin for Control of Greasy Cutworm in Seedling Maize – Proc. 44th N.Z.(Weed and Pest Control Conf. 1991: 310-311)

®Kaiso is a registered trademark of Nufarm Limited. Attack is a registered trademark of Nufarm Technologies USA Limited.

Article supplied by Nufarm NZ