Operation Flea Beetle: A Change of Tactic

20th August 2020

An important part of our approach to CSFB began following harvest of this year’s OSR crop. During July we went straight in with the Razorback rotary mower to smash up the stubbles to remove shelter for slugs. This was combined with the trailed rake to create a stale seedbed to encourage a flush of volunteers.

In previous year’s we would have kept volunteers in place with the hope of diluting the impact of CSFB, however this year we decided to change to the management of these fields which lie adjacent to new crop. Instead we encouraged their growth to entice the population present on the farm to move into these fields and ten days ahead of sowing, we sprayed them off. The strong brassica smell that comes from the OSR dying off I hope will become a draw for migrating beetle, distracting them from the main prize!

A photo taken last year but demonstrates the Razorback mower and harrow combination we employed on the farm again this year


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