Are early insecticide programmes required this year?

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With this winter’s exceptionally mild conditions allowing insect populations to escalate unchecked, oilseed rape growers should be considering insecticide applications to protect vulnerable crops.

The 2015-16 winter has been one of the mildest since records began. High air and soil temperatures, and an almost complete lack of hard frost conditions on all but the highest ground, have allowed insect populations to grow unchecked. And with OSR crops currently at a wide variety of growth stages, growers should be extra vigilant in the fight against damage caused by insect populations.

Growers are therefore being advised to consider the timings of their insecticide programmes to limit the damage caused to lush, forward crops of oilseed rape.

Containing 240g/l of tau-fluvalinate, Mavrik® from Adama is a highly active and novel pyrethroid based insecticide for the control of pollen beetles in oilseed rape. When used in accordance with the label Mavrik® has less acute toxicity to honey bees relative to other pyrethroid insecticides and can be used up to the end of OSR flowering.

Mavrik® is also an effective, fast-acting contact insecticide for the control of aphids in cereals, cabbage seed weevils and aphids in oilseed rape.

In recent years, pollen beetle populations haven’t been large enough to warrant targeting them with specific pesticide applications. However, as this winter’s temperatures have largely remained mild, and as spring temperatures start to creep upwards, the 2016 season could see a boom in beetle activity (pollen beetles typically start to migrate in late March to early April when temperatures reach 15oC), giving rise to a real need for pesticides to be applied in many areas.

Where insect populations are high enough to warrant spraying, Mavrik gives exceptional protection against pollen beetles thanks to its unique chemical structure which, unlike many other pyrethroid products, has not shown any resistance in pollen beetles. Mavrik also provides effective protection from seed weevils thereby mitigating against potential damage from brassica pod midge. It also has good compatibility with sclerotinia sprays.

For more information about the latest position, or to find out more about how Mavrik® could benefit your crop, call the Adama Technical Helpline on 01635 876 622.

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