Boost to fight against cabbage stem flea beetle

Research to combat a devastating pest of oilseed rape has been supported by a fresh injection of funds.

Dr Rachel Wells is the project manager for the BBSRC SLoLa Brassica and Rapeseed And Vegetable Optimisation (BRAVO) project.
Dr Rachel Wells is the project manager for the BBSRC SLoLa Brassica and Rapeseed And Vegetable Optimisation (BRAVO) project.

The £1.8 million BBSRC Industrial Partnership Award will help John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research scientists and industrial partners working on desperately needed solutions to tackle cabbage stem flea beetle.

This is fantastic news, and it means we can accelerate vital work in combating this significant pest.

UK crop losses to the beetle were estimated at 6.4 per cent in 2016/17 rising to 15 per cent in some counties. The pest is increasingly problematic since the withdrawal of neonicotinoid-based pesticides which were previously used as seed treatments to control the beetle.

The escalation has led to questions over the future of the UK oilseed rape crop, with a decline in UK cropping area of 35 per cent between 2012 and 2019.

Dr Rachel Wells is the project manager for the BBSRC SLoLa Brassica and Rapeseed And Vegetable Optimisation (BRAVO) project.

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