Flea beetles are becoming more popular throughout much of central and southern Illinois. More reports of corn flea beetle feeding on seedling corn have made their way to our desks this week. Intermixed in these reports have been observations on the effectiveness of seed treatments. Several reliable sources have indicated that systemic seed treatments seem to be doing the trick this spring, in spite of heavy flea beetle feeding. Some findings from the field indicate Gaucho, Prescribe, and Cruiser all seem to be doing a great job of protecting plants from flea beetle damage.
On the flip side, information has also been brought to us noting that, although treated and nontreated plants contained differing flea beetle densities, no difference was found in feeding injury between the treatments. These are only observations, not conclusions from research trials. These reports help make the case to take a little time to walk through your fields this spring. I look forward to any other findings that you might have.--Kelly Cook