The potential of biopesticides and optimising use of conventional insecticides for cabbage stem flea beetle control will be the focus of a PhD project at Harper Adams University which begins this autumn and is to be funded by AHDB, the AgriFood Charities Partnership and Certis Europe.
The project will address the need for novel approaches to control CSFB effectively by investigating the potential of biopesticides used singly or in combination with existing insecticide options, according to Certis.
Biopesticides are said to provide an attractive pest control option due to their minimal impact on the environment, specificity to the target pest and as a resistance management tool. Despite this, biopesticides as potential CSFB controls have received little attention, although field trials testing the efficacy of biopesticides against the crucifer flea beetle have demonstrated their promise, according to Certis.
The project will screen a range of biopesticides, including entomopathogenic fungi, nematodes and bacteria, as well as plant extracts, for efficacy against CSFB adults and larvae. Potential benefits such as reliability and improved efficacy of simultaneous use of selected biopesticides and insecticides will also be investigated and evaluated for management of pyrethroid resistant CSFB populations. Finally, the project will investigate the role of time patterns in the susceptibility of CSFB to selected biopesticide and pyrethroid insecticides.
Project supervisors are Dr Tom Pope and Dr Heather Campbell of Harper Adams, Dr Dave Chandler of University of Warwick and Dr Ian Baxter of Certis Europe.