From 2001 to 2004, field studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of the ecorational insecticides SpinTor (spinosad), BotaniGard (Beauveria bassiana), Neemix (azadirachtin), and Surround (kaolin) against crucifer flea beetle on canola,Brassica napus L., at the cotyledon stage. The ecorational treatments were compared with a standard foliar chemical insecticide, Capture (bifenthrin), and the chemical seed treatment insecticide Helix XTra (thiamethoxam). This study indicated that flea beetle injury was lower for Helix XTra, Capture, and the ecorational insecticide SpinTor. SpinTor was less effective when flea beetle populations were relatively high (200–300 per trap-week). Yields for chemical insecticide treatments were always greater than SpinTor, with differences being the smallest (68–374 kg/ha) at low levels of flea beetle feeding injury. Differences were greatest when canola seedling injury was high (775–1,364 kg/ha). Yield differences between the conventional insecticides and BotaniGard, Neemix, and Surround were 119–439 and 61–2,248 kg/ha at low and high flea beetle feeding injury, respectively. Although yield differences between SpinTor and chemical insecticides were relatively small at lower levels of flea beetle injury, net losses ranged from $47 to $151/ha when SpinTor was used as an alternative to a standard chemical seed treatment, Helix XTra. This suggests that SpinTor would not be a viable alternative to the chemical insecticide. Net losses ranged from $30 to $266/ha when BotaniGard, Neemix, and Surround were used as alternatives to the seed treatment.
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Vol. 100 • No. 3