Brassica have long struggled against cabbage white butterflies and flea beetles. However, this got to crisis point when the use of nearly all neonicotinoid insecticides was revoked in 2018. And if this wasn’t bad enough, pest populations are increasingly gaining resistance to other synthetic insecticide active ingredients, such as pyrethroids.
However, rather than looking for new synthetic compounds (or giving up farming brassicas all together!), at Eutrema we believe that conventional farmers should be looking to organic options to extend their arsenal against the most difficult brassica pests.
Some people might instinctively think an organic pesticide is not going to be powerful enough to effectively deal with the most irritating pests on modern farms. However, these people have never come across Lime Sulphur before!
Lime Sulphur is a smelly red liquid, and when diluted in water and applied to crops it acts as a potent sterilising agent; killing insect pests, mites, and microbial pathogens.
We are so confident in our Lime Sulphur product, that we are giving away free samples for farmers to trial. We are convinced that you will be blown away by the results! In fact, we consider the effectiveness of Lime Sulphur to be far greater than even standard conventional insecticides; both in its ability to kill the pest, and the speed in which it does so.
Caterpillar on a Oil Seed Rape leaf being sterilised by a spray of diluted
Eutrema Lime Sulphur
To illustrate this point, we took caterpillars of the Cabbage White Butterfly (Pieris napi) and sprayed them daily with the standard dose of Lime Sulphur. It only took three days of spraying to achieve an amazing 90% kill rate. Furthermore, the 10% of caterpillars that survived the sprays, stopped feeding and would thus die before being able to pupate into adults.
Contrast these results with many standard synthetic insecticides, especially those with a systemic mode of action, which can take over a week to start to kill the plant pest.
Whilst Lime Sulphur is approved for use on organic crops, it is far from benign, and is classified as hazardous due to it containing calcium polysulphide, a highly reactive form of calcium and sulphur. As such, when using Lime Sulphur full PPE is required, including a type B filter face mask.
Lime Sulphur only takes a few hours to act. After it has reacted on the leaf surface it breaks down to form plant-available forms of calcium and sulphur (pictured below).
Because of the simple chemistry involved, and its very short period of action, it has no residue concerns, and has no long-term residual legacy in the environment. As such it is approval in organic farming.
Whilst used more widely in continental Europe, it has been largely ignored until now by British farmers.
So, why not get hold of a 5 litre polycan and give Lime Sulphur a try against your most troublesome pest? We have so far had good interest in our new Lime Sulphur offering, and have three on-farm trial sites set up this autumn on Oil Seed Rape, Kale, and Turnip. The Oil Seed Rape trial will focus on stem flea beetle control over a 10 hectare site.
So if your brassica plants are suffering from cabbage white butterflies, purchase some Lime Sulphur for an instant effect: