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OMRI and Conventional Options for Flea Beetle Suppression

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

May 24, 2018

Crucifer flea beetles, Phyllotreta cruciferae Goeze, emerged abruptly with some warm weather in mid-May and have been causing damage on susceptible brassica crops. Most growers are all-too-familiar with this pest and have a few strategies to limit damage from flea beetles already in their toolbox. However, this generation of flea beetles will continue to be active through around mid-June, so it's worth revisiting a few of the other options available if your preferred method falls short this season.

 Prevention: Young transplants and recently emerged direct seeded crops at the cotyledon stage are the most susceptible to damage. Rotating spring brassicas as far away from fields that had cole crops the previous fall can help reduce the pressure. Keeping field edges clean of mustard weeds can also reduce flea beetle populations that then migrate into production areas. On a smaller scale, insect netting or floating row cover can also be used, but must be secured at soil level before flea beetle emergence to prevent them from getting underneath and having a feast. Mustard cover crops, as shown in the image, can also be flea beetle magnets and should be carefully managed as far away from brassica cash crop fields as possible. Once flea beetles have reached a threshold of an average of 1 beetle per plant or 10% average leaf damage, it's time to consider chemical control options.

 Conventional Options: There are a number of pyrethroid (IRAC Group 3A) insecticides labeled for flea beetles that provide quick knock downs of populations. A few of the labeled pyrethroids labeled for use in New York are Baythroid XL (beta-cyfluthrin), Brigade 2EC (bifenthrin), Warrior II with Zeon Technology (lambda-cyhalothrin), and Mustang MAXX (zeta-cypermethrin). Given that this generation of flea beetles will still be active for a few weeks, growers may want to consider pre-mix products of pyrethroids and neo-nicotinoids (IRAC Group 4A) that will provide longer residual control. Two common options are Leverage 2.7 (imidacloprid + cyfluthrir) and Endigo ZC (lambda-cyhalothrin + thiamethoxam). One other pre-mix product with longer residual than a straight pyrethroid and with less potential to hurt pollinators than the neo-nic mixes is Voliam Xpress. Voliam Xpress is a mix of lambda-cyhoalothrin and the IRAC Group 28 diamide insecticide chlorantraniliprole (same active ingredient in Exirel). The neo-nicotinoid Admire Pro (imidacloprid) is labeled as a foliar spray for flea beetles. Please note, soil applications of Admire Pro on brassicas are only labeled for aphid, leafhopper, thrip, and white fly control, NOT for flea beetles. In a 2015 field trial conducted in Virginia, Brigade provided the best level of flea beetle suppression when compared to Admire Pro and Exirel.

Organic Options: Like with the conventional options, there are a number of OMRI options labeled for flea beetle suppression. However, in field trials both at UMass and New York State IPM, few provided a statistically significant reduction in flea beetle pressure over untreated controls. Spinosad products, like Entrust, have generally shown the highest efficacy and can be mixed with OMRI-approved spreader-stickers to improve performance. A trial in Maryland from 2011 showed good performance from Azera, a pre-mix of azadirachtin and pyrethrins (IRAC Group 3A), especially when mixed with Surround WP (kaolin clay). Finally, a 2013 trial in New York found that both Grandevo (Chromobacterium subtsugae strain PRAA4-1T and spent fermentation media) and Venerate (Heat-killed Burkholderia spp. strain A396 cells and spent fermentation media) reduced flea beetle damage on cabbage under low pressure.

 This article was printed in the May 24th, 2018 issue of ENYCHP Veg News. To view the full newsletter, click here.

Crucifer BeetleTypcial shotgun type small holes caused by crucifer flea beetle
feeding on white mustard cover crop


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Upcoming Events

Berry Production Twilight Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 8, 2021
Peru, NY

Rulf's Orchard, 531 Bear Swamp Road, Peru, NY 

Many berry topics will be discussed including growing Juneberries (Amelanchier, not strawberries), using entomopathogenic nematodes to control strawberry root pests, low tunnel production in June bearing strawberries, SWD monitoring and management. 2.5 DEC pesticide recertification credits available in categories 1A, 10, 22, and 23. Contact Elisabeth Hodgdon (eh528@cornell.edu or 518-650-5323) or Laura McDermott (lgm4@cornell.edu or 518-746-2562) with questions.

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Announcements

U-Pick Farm Practices During Covid-19 Pandemic

U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides
customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light
of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices
will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document
provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick
operations for the 2020 season.

https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_864.pdf

Growers-are you running low on fall pumpkins, etc?

The Produce Auctions located around the state may have what you need.  Check out all of the opportunities here: https://harvestny.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=4

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

“Understanding Fungicide Resistance and How to Avoid It” with Dr. Margaret McGrath

June 16, 2021
ENYCHP Veg News Farm and Field Updates with Teresa Rusinek
“Understanding Fungicide Resistance and How to Avoid It” with Dr. Margaret McGrath of Cornell University
In this this podcast ENYCHP vegetable specialist Teresa Rusinek interviews Dr. Margaret McGrath, of Cornell University School of Integrative Plant Science, to discuss the development of fungicide resistance in plant pathogens and steps growers can take to avoid it.
Resources:
https://www.vegetables.cornell.edu/pest-management/disease-factsheets/general-guidelines-for-managing-fungicide-resistance/
Vegetable Pathology – Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center (cornell.edu)
The Cucurbit Downy Mildew Forecast Homepage
https://cdm.ipmpipe.org/

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