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News Insect Pests
Fight back against flea beetles


February 1, 2021
By Bayer CropScience

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For canola growers in the West, flea beetles are a familiar problem. In recent years, growers across Western Canada have reported high annual flea beetle populations and as a result, heavy crop damage.

When not properly managed, flea beetle damage can have a severe economic impact. According to the Canola Council of Canada, crop losses of up to 10 per cent are reported in areas of high insect pressure. Overall, the combined severity of flea beetle damage across North America is estimated to exceed $300 million.*

To fight back against this chronic pest issue, growers need to be ready with the best management tools available to ensure they can mitigate losses and start their season off strong.

Bayer’s new BUTEO™ start insecticide seed treatment provides superior and immediate protection for canola against both striped and crucifer flea beetles.

“Flea beetles take advantage of the early growing stages when the plant is most vulnerable,” says Andrew Chisholm, Trait and Trait Launch Manager at Bayer. “The damage these insects can cause in the seedling and early vegetative plant stage can impact the crop for the rest of the season and lead to significant yield loss. But BUTEO start offers the early defense the crop needs to grow in strong.”

Early flea beetle damage can cause poor plant stands, delayed maturity and reduced yields. BUTEO start is designed to be an early-stage solution, protecting the plant from day one. The Group 4D insecticide (flupyradifurone) delivers rapid uptake and systemic translocation from cotyledon to leaf margins, encouraging stronger plant stands. The powerful seed treatment also enables a quicker-growing canopy and uniform flowering, even in dry conditions.

BUTEO start is designed to give growers the targeted pest control they need. The seed treatment not only reduces the need for in-crop rescue treatments but also works well in combination with leading base seed treatments and cutworm treatments, so growers can customize their pest management strategies to their needs.

“In a busy season, growers have many challenges to focus on, but significant crop loss from flea beetles damage doesn’t have to be one of them,” says Chisholm. “As trial results have demonstrated, BUTEO start’s efficacy and performance is something canola growers can count on.”

In research trials held across areas with strong flea beetle pressure, BUTEO start continually demonstrated superior performance, with BUTEO start treated canola showing significantly lower levels of damage over two weeks after emergence compared to other industry seed treatments. Canola that was treated with BUTEO start also grew in with stronger plant stands and developed fuller canopies. Importantly for Canadian growers, BUTEO start showed exceptional control against the novel striped flea beetle, which is especially prevalent across the Canadian prairies.

To protect your canola investment with BUTEO start, talk to your local Bayer representative or visit BUTEOstart.ca to learn more.

* Source: Knodel, J.J. and Olson, D.L., 2002. Crucifer-flea beetle: biology and integrated pest management in canola. North Dakota State Univ. Coop. Ext. Serv. Publ. E1234. North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND


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