Canola Insecticides and Bee Safety Alert

CropLife SA is aware that canola producers are facing numerous pests in canola that may warrant the judicious use of insecticides. The past three years’ history taught us that off-label use of certain insecticides on canola such as methamidophos and profenofos had a profound negative impact on bee populations in the Western Cape. This resulted in negative publicity for the plant protection industry and for canola producers.

There are enough insecticides registered for pest control in canola and according to label instructions all of these insecticides have the required warnings, precautions and guidelines that, if followed, will ensure effective pest control, yet minimise or eliminate any potential impacts on honey bees.

CropLife SA urges all distributors and agents to interrogate Agri-Intel to find the correct insecticides for canola and ensure that only such products are applied strictly according to the label instructions. It is in the best interest of the industry and canola producers to abide by the principles of responsible pesticide use and to refrain from using pesticides off-label.

It is also critically important to scout for pest emergence and deal with pest infestations early in their life cycles to avoid having to use large volumes of harsh insecticides late in the development cycle of pest species. Early detection of Lepidoptera pests is possible with feromone traps and late afternoon scouting for moths. If larvae are found in canola, they should be photographed and the pictures sent by WhatsApp to 082-446-8946. CropLife SA has a network of entomologist that can assist with quick identification to facilitate sound pest management.

It is the duty of all role players in the plant protection industry to protect the bees from negative impacts of irresponsible use of pesticides. This can only achieved by offering canola producers label directed advice and ensuring they follow those instructions. Failure to follow these may lead to bee deaths and the regulatory authorities will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute offenders.

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