A new insecticidal seed treatment for oilseed rape, which lasts longer and controls a greater range of pests than current standards, is in its final stages of development at Bayer CropScience.

Based on the active ingredients clothianidin and beta-cyfluthrin (as in Poncho Beta), the treatment is a planned successor to Chinook and, subject to PSD approval, should be available within two years.

According to Adrian Cottey of Bayer, the new treatment will go beyond early season flea beetle control, due to its greater persistence.

“We’ve seen a significant reduction in BWYV, as the treatment helps to control the aphids that carry the virus. Although it’s not the full answer, it does seem to offer a partial solution to the problem of resistant Myzus persicae arriving from treated crops.”

Other pests controlled by the new treatment include turnip sawfly caterpillar and cabbage root fly, he adds.

“Turnip sawfly caterpillar is only a problem for growers in the southern counties,” acknowledges Mr Cottey. “Our new seed treatment gives around 75% control of the pest, compared to 40% from Chinook.”

Cabbage root fly is an occasional pest in oilseed rape, he notes. “But it’s a key pest in Germany and intensification of oilseed rape growing will work in its favour. Again, the development product takes control of this pest a stage further than the current standard, Chinook.”

Mr Cottey adds that trials on the co-application of the new insecticide with Hy-Pro Duet, Bayer’s fungicidal seed treatment, are on-going.

“It makes sense to control both seed-borne disease and early pests. The establishment stage of the oilseed rape crop is critical to its success.”