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Pest management and yield in spring oilseed rape without neonicotinoid seed treatments

Lundin, Ola and Malsher, Gerard and Högfeldt, Carol and Bommarco, Riccardo (2020). Pest management and yield in spring oilseed rape without neonicotinoid seed treatments. Crop Protection. 137 , 105261
[Journal article]

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Abstract

Use of neonicotinoid insecticides as seed treatments has been prohibited in the EU. As a consequence, concerns of lost production have been raised among producers. It remains, however, unclear to what extent the ban has increased pest attacks and crop damage, and reduced yield and farm profit. It is also unclear to what extent alternative, non-chemical options can protect crops. Flea beetles (Chrysomelidae: Alticini) are the main pests targeted by insecticide seed treatments in spring oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). Over three years, we conducted 23 field experiments in which we compared seeds treated with neonicotinoids with untreated seeds, grown at normal or doubled sowing rates. The experiments were established during a range of sowing times at the same time as the hosting farmer sowed, which also allowed us to assess the impact of sowing date. We measured flea beetle activity density, crop plant density, cotyledon damage, crop yield and relative economic performance. Flea beetle activity density was eight times higher in 2014 than in 2016, with intermediate activity in 2015. Neonicotinoid seed treatment, increased sowing rate and an earlier sowing date all reduced crop damage. Seed treatment decreased crop yield loss by 521 kg ha(-1) and relative profit loss by 144 Euro ha(-1) in 2014, but had no effect on yield or profit in 2015-2016. Increased sowing rate did not affect yield, but decreased profit in 2015 (-138 Eum ha(-1)) and 2016 (-114 Euro ha(-1)), mainly due to higher costs for seed. Earlier sowing date was consistently associated with higher yield and profit. Our results put prophylactic seed treatments in question, as they gave lower yield losses in only one year out of three. Earlier sowing and somewhat higher sowing rate emerge as viable alternative pest management practices. Because management outcomes depended on pest pressure, which varied from year to year, crop damage prognosis tools are needed based on improved understanding of the population ecology of crop pests, to support the growers' decisions and avoid unnecessary use of insecticides.

Authors/Creators:Lundin, Ola and Malsher, Gerard and Högfeldt, Carol and Bommarco, Riccardo
Title:Pest management and yield in spring oilseed rape without neonicotinoid seed treatments
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:137
Article number:105261
Number of Pages:7
ISSN:0261-2194
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Keywords:Canola, Chaetocnema, Neonicotinoid, Non-chemical pest control, Phyllotreta, Seed coating
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107859
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107859
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.cropro.2020.105261
Web of Science (WoS)000566399800017
ID Code:17598
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:24 Sep 2020 14:30
Metadata Last Modified:24 Sep 2020 14:31

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