New seed mix to combat cabbage stem flea beetle

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

Demand for RGT Beetleblocker, the novel oilseed rape/companion crop seed mixture from RAGT Seeds that aims to help reduce cabbage stem flea beetle damage, has exceeded expectations in the run-up to the drilling campaign.

Limited quantities of the mix were available to all merchants around the country and uptake has been significant, with growers keen to try a different approach to beat the beetle, according to RAGT’s Helen Wilson.

The mixture consists of new high gross output hybrid oilseed rape, RGT Blackmillion, along with two legumes, fenugreek and berseem clover.

“Fenugreek, a key ingredient in curries, appears to act as a natural repellent to cabbage stem flea beetle,” says Helen.

“In a recent independent trial in France, the mix reduced flea beetle numbers by 25% by early October and by 70% at the end of that month when sown as a companion crop.”

Berseem clover has been added to boost weed suppression, nitrogen fixing and soil conditioning.

Both fenugreek and berseem clover establish quickly and make ideal partners for RGT Blackmillion, which has impressive autumn vigour, essential to help young rape plants grow away from flea beetle pressure.

RGT Blackmillion is a Recommended List candidate oilseed rape with very high gross output (107 East/West region)

The variety has very good stem canker resistance (7) and ADAS assessment scores show that it is tolerant of Verticillium wilt.

To learn more about RGT Beetleblocker, click here.

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