Poll: What’s the plan for flea beetle control in ’23?

Prior to November of this year, plenty of Western Canadian farmers would have listed flea beetles as one of the major insect pests of canola.

Then, just last week, distributors of the insecticide active lambda-cyhalothrin (sold as Matador and Silencer) announced they were pulling the product out of retail and likely not returning it for the 2023 season. Syngenta Canada, makers of Matador, have said they are hoping for a 2024 re-release but need to get past some labelling challenges first.

The news brought out a pretty strong reaction to many. Lambda-cy, as it is nicknamed, is a foliar control option for flea beetles, and its removal from the market limits farmers’ choices to just a few products.

But wait, aren’t flea beetles controlled by insecticide seed treatments?

Increasingly, flea beetle populations are overwhelming seedlings, even with seed treatments, prompting many farmers to opt for one, two, or even multiple passes of foliar insecticides to control the pest.

That brings us to this week’s poll question — what are you penciling in for flea beetle control on canola in ’23?

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