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Research article2019Peer reviewed

No-till protects spring oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) against crop damage by flea beetles (Phyllotreta spp.)

Lundin, Ola


Alternative pest control options are needed for flea beetles (Phyllotreta spp.) in spring oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) in the European Union following the ban on neonicotinoid seed treatments. I investigated the effect of no-till establishment using either a tine or a disc seed drill on crop damage caused by flea beetles in spring oilseed rape in two field experiments 2017-2018 in south central Sweden. Flea beetle activity measured by pitfall trap catches was 65-82% lower, and proportion crop damage to cotyledons was 46-48% lower in the two no-till treatments than in spring oilseed rape established following stubble cultivation. However, the no-till treatment using the disc seed drill had 56% lower plant density and in one of the years also 31% lower crop yield, whereas plant density and crop yield were similar in tilled and no-till plots established with the tine seed drill. I conclude that no-till holds great promise for flea beetle control, but further research on best management practices for northern European conditions are needed so that crop establishment is not jeopardized when switching to no-till. No-till establishment using a seed drill with tine coulters that clears crop residues from the seed row may be the best option to balance the positive effects of crop residues on flea beetle control against negative effects on crop establishment.


Canola; Integrated pest management; Neonicotinoid; Zero tillage

Published in

Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
2019, Volume: 278, pages: 1-5
Publisher: ELSEVIER

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

    Publication identifier


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