Vegetable Production Guide

Cole Crops
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Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

This section was updated - 06 July 2021

Cole crops are susceptible to severe losses from many pests. IPM practices can assist growers in harvesting crops free of pest contamination and damage while minimizing the number and cost of pesticide applications. Commercial monitoring services are available in the Fraser Valley.

Refer to Pest Management section of this guide for information on general IPM principles. In addition, for cole crops, practice the following as part of the IPM program:

  1. Ensure crops are healthy through good soil and crop management. This will result in less weed, insect and disease pressure.
  2. Rotate crops to reduce the buildup of diseases, herbicide-resistant weeds and insect pests.
  3. Control weeds (particularly those in the mustard family) that can act as hosts of insects and diseases in and around the field.
  4. After a field is harvested it should be disced under and seeded to a cover crop to limit pest and weed reservoirs.
  5. Fields should be thoroughly scouted at least once per week to check for pests.
  6. At the seedling or transplant stage, preventive sprays must be applied for root maggots. Once the crop is established it can tolerate some feeding damage from caterpillars or aphids. Sprays may not be necessary during this period unless insect pressure is severe. Products such as Dipel will reduce caterpillar levels without killing beneficial insects.

When the marketable portion of the crop begins to form (heads/sprouts), scouting must be very thorough, and if pests are detected, sprays must be applied without delay to prevent damage and/or contamination of marketable portions.

For further information on IPM in cole crops contact the BCAGRI or a commercial monitoring service.

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