The swede midge (Contarinia nasturtii) has become a significant economic pest of canola (Brassica napus L.) in Ontario and an emergent pest in the Prairie provinces. Determining yield impacts of swede midge damage and the growth stage(s) at which canola is most vulnerable or attractive to swede midge will contribute to the development of pest management recommendations throughout the growth of the crop. In four experiments, canola plants were exposed to specific densities of adult swede midge and measures of oviposition, damage and yield were collected. There was a significant positive relationship between female density and total oviposition per plant with a very high capacity for larval numbers on canola; up to ~ 4000. Given a choice of four growth stages, approximately 85% of oviposition occurred on seven-leaf and early bud canola. Given no choice, the high total oviposition on 3-leaf and flowering stages suggests that swede midge will oviposit on less favorable canola growth stages, if no others are present. Damage sustained on primary racemes remained relatively constant over time. However, damage ratings on secondary and tertiary racemes decreased over time in the highest treatment densities, suggesting compensation by the plant. All yield measures, except seed weight per pod, significantly decreased with increasing female density on primary and/or secondary racemes. A density of ~ 0.6 females per plant resulted in 10% reductions in the number of pods and seed weight produced on primary racemes. These results support recommendations for insecticide applications at, or just prior to, the early bud stage.
Journal of Pest Science – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 8, 2017
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