Farmers wanted for battle against CSFB

A project to develop a biopesticide for Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle (CSFB) is looking to recruit farmers to help shape the eventual outcomes.

Funded by a grant from Innovate UK, Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) is working in collaboration with CAB International (CABI) and Russell Bio Solutions Ltd,  along with input from H&T Bioseed, to provide farmers with a much-needed alternative to the now banned neonic insecticides for cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB), especially in the light of increasing resistance to Pyrethroids.

Oilseed rape (OSR) has for many years been the third largest arable crop in the UK, after wheat and barley. However, in 2019 the amount of OSR grown in the UK fell to 1,752,000 tonnes, down 12.9% from the 2,012,000 tonnes grown in 2018. This was the lowest yield in five years, due in part to the increasing prevalence of CSFB. The estimated cost of CSFB to growers in 2019 was £79M. With limited management tools left to control CSFB there is a market opportunity to develop a biopesticide.

The work to develop different formulations of a fungal biopesticide (identified in work already done by CHAP and CABI) to target CSFB in OSR at different stages of development kicks off today. Following on from this initial work, efforts will then progress into developing the scale up process.

The focus on end-user engagement will run alongside this development work and will involve two knowledge transfer workshops. The first will focus on the aim and objectives of the project, while the second will cover dissemination of results and technology adoption.

In addition, end-user feedback will be gathered using a market survey to ensure the project is aligned to end-user needs.

Go to our Fungal Biopesticide Development Lab page for more information on the facilities and expertise available at this capability.

If you have any questions about working with CHAP, please send us an email using the enquiries form at the bottom of our homepage.