Preinoculation and push-pull methods for the control of cabbage root fly in cauliflower – a critical reflection on field trials
The cabbage root fly, D. radicum L., is a very important pest of brassica crops in the northern hemisphere. A lot of research addressed agricultural methods for its control and revealed an array of non-chemical methods for cabbage root fly reduction. Here we present results from an attempt to combine particulate methods to a comprehensive push-pull strategy. In 2018 and 2019 field trials were conducted to sequentially test the methods of preinoculation of plants and the application of repellent together with trap crops. The results indicated that entomopathogenic fungi may be the most promising preinoculation agents under hot and dry conditions. However, the efficacy of the treatments was not sufficient to gain adequate control of the cabbage root fly. The experience with the push-pull approach showed that timing is important and depends on precise forecasting models. Nevertheless, an applicable strategy was assembled, that could serve as a profound starting position for further research.