Potato killers found in Scanian cultivation

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Published July 22, 2021 at 3:08 pm

Domestic. Larvae of the Colorado potato beetle have been discovered in a potato field in the Kristianstad area in Skåne. The Swedish Board of Agriculture urges everyone who grows potatoes in the Kristianstad area to keep an eye out for the Colorado potato beetle in their crops.

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– Both the larvae of the Colorado potato beetle and the fully formed beetles can eat voraciously on the potato plants. In the event of a large occurrence, the potato plants can become completely bare by the larvae, with a considerably reduced harvest as a result. The beetle also leaves feces that are black and sticky on the potato tops, says Louise Aldén from the Swedish Board of Agriculture's plant protection center in Alnarp. and vegetables. Regular outbreaks in potato cultivation are unusual in Sweden. In some years, most recently in 1972 and 1983, there have been major infestations of the beetle in Sweden when wind and temperature conditions have been favorable.

In our neighboring countries Finland, Norway and Denmark, the Colorado beetle has not established itself even though it occurs occasionally. in southern Jutland, among other places. Finland recently found the first attack in five years on potato farms.

The southern Swedish climate theoretically enables a complete generation cycle for the Colorado potato beetle, which means that it is possible for it to establish itself in our area.

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The Colorado potato beetle can be controlled with the plant protection products Mospilan or NeemAzal, where the latter product may also be used in organic farming. Insecticides of the pyrethroid type are also a possible alternative in conventional cultivation. However, there is widespread resistance to pyrethroids in Colorado beetles in several countries, which has led to weak effects of the preparations. Burning of tops has also been used as a strategy when only a few plants have been infested.