Integration of cultural practices, such as planting date with insecticide-based strategies, was investigated to determine best management strategy for flea beetles (Phyllotreta spp.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in canola (Brassica napus L.). We studied the effect of two spring planting dates of B. napus and different insecticide-based management strategies on the feeding injury caused by flea beetles in North Dakota during 2002–2003. Adult beetle peak emergence usually coincided with the emergence of the early planted canola, and this resulted in greater feeding injury in the early planted canola than later planted canola. Use of late-planted canola may have limited potential for cultural control of flea beetle, because late-planted canola is at risk for yield loss due to heat stress during flowering. Flea beetle injury ratings declined when 1) the high rate of insecticide seed treatment plus a foliar insecticide applied 21 d after planting was used, 2) the high rate of insecticide seed treatment only was used, or 3) two foliar insecticide sprays were applied. These insecticide strategies provided better protection than the low rates of insecticide seed treatments or a single foliar spray, especially in areas with moderate-to-high flea beetle populations. The foliar spray on top of the seed treatment controlled later-emerging flea beetles as the seed treatment residual was diminishing and the crop became vulnerable to feeding injury. The best insecticide strategy for management of flea beetle was the high rate of insecticide seed treatment plus a foliar insecticide applied at 21 d after planting, regardless of planting date.
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Vol. 101 • No. 3