The diamondback moth presents a significant challenge for American producers of cole crops. This billion-dollar problem has no single simple solution. Instead, a holistic Integrated Pest Management program is the best approach for tackling this prolific pest.
Suterra details some best practices for managing diamondback moth in Take Back Your Crop, our complimentary eBook in collaboration with The American Vegetable Grower Magazine. The eBook can be accessed here.
Vegetable farmers have long known diamondback moth to be a threat to crops worldwide. Diamondback moth larvae target plants in the family Brassicaceae, which is a broad group including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale, among others. It is adept at developing resistance to traditional insecticides, can breed continuously in the warmer regions of the southern United States, and can produce up to fifteen generations in a year depending on location.
Suterra Technical Team Member, Sean Pelham, explains further why DBM can be so damaging. “In warmer regions, there can be as many as 15 generations of DBM per year and they can be active year round with enough food available. Young larvae can 'window pane' outer leaves while older larvae will chew on developing flower buds, as well as points of growth, severely stunting the plant.”
Of particular concern to growers is the pest’s ability to rapidly develop resistance to all classes of insecticides. This rapid resistance buildup coupled with the moth’s general versatility make it an increasingly difficult pest to control with conventional methods. All of these factors combine to make DBM the number one pest of cruciferous vegetables and one of the most impactful agricultural pests worldwide.
The eBook describes an integrated pest management strategy that works to minimize damage caused by diamondback moth through a holistic approach. The best tools in your IPM toolkit focus not just on DBM, but on the entire complex of pests that may affect vegetable crops. Some of the most effective strategies are detailed further in the eBook; these include crop rotation, trap cropping, and insecticide resistance awareness.
The eBook also highlights mating disruption as a particularly effective option for population management and damage reduction and one that can help mitigate insecticide resistance issues. The benefits of using Suterra’s CheckMate® DBM-F as part of a larger pest management toolkit are summarized by Sean Pelham.
“Integrated pest management programs using pheromone mating disruption have been successful in cropping systems all over the world,” Pelham says. “Most importantly, by potentially reducing the amount of conventional insecticides needed, the cost to the grower of keeping DBM in check should fall over time.”
Suterra’s DBM-F sprayable formulation provides additional benefits. “Mating disruption reduces the likelihood of insecticide resistance, is species-specific and doesn't harm beneficials. CheckMate® DBM-F is MRL exempt; there is no pre-harvest interval. Growers like the flexibility that sprayable pheromone products offer to react in-season when pest pressure is high,” explains Suterra Sales Manager Alyson Pulford.
For more information on protecting your crop from diamondback moth, download the eBook above, contact us online or contact your Suterra field representative for more information.