Invasives Blog

CABI is working in partnership with CHAP – Crop Health and Protection Limited – as well as Russell Bio Solutions Ltd and H&T Bioseed, to find an effective and safe biological control to fight the devastating Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle Psylliodes chrysocephalus (CSFB).

Dr Belinda Luke, Principal Scientist, Biopesticides Team, at CABI, outlines in a new video produced by CHAP, how the team is trying to find a more environmentally sustainable alternative to the now banned neonic insecticides to fight the pest.

Funded by a grant from Innovate UK, the group of researchers are hoping to develop different formulations of a fungal biopesticide – identified in work already carried out by CABI and CHAP – to target CSFB in oilseed rape, especially in light of increasing resistance to pyrethroids.

It is hoped that the project will significantly help farmers in the UK increase their yields through enhanced CSFB control. The project will also work towards achieving net zero emissions by 2040 through the development of targeted biopesticide application.

Oilseed rape (OSR) has for many years been the third largest arable crop in the UK, after wheat and barley. However, in 2019 the amount of OSR grown in the UK fell to 1,752,000 tonnes, down 12.9% from the 2,012,000 tonnes grown in 2018.

This was the lowest yield in 5 years, due in part to the increasing prevalence of CSFB. The estimated cost of CSFB to growers in 2019 was £79M. With limited management tools left to control CSFB there is a market opportunity to develop a biopesticide.

Click on the image below – or here – to watch the video explaining more about the work to find a biological control for cabbage stem flea beetle.

Additional information

Main image: Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle (©Allan J. Cann/via flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0).


See also the blog ‘Cabbage stem flea beetle and aphids are the curse of every farmer, but CABI and CHAP may have a solution.’

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