Pests widespread in Latvia's rapeseed fields this spring

Pests have spread rapidly in the winter rapeseed seedlings, the State Plant Protection Service (VAAD) said on May 8. This happens every year, but this time the number is higher.

Pests can be recognized as tiny black shiny beetles that rotate through rapeseed flower buds and flowers. Insects encroach on flowers and eat pollen, pollen leaves, and petals.

This damages the harvest and may result in loss. The largest prevalence of pests is currently in Zemgale and Kurzeme.

"The rape pollen beetle (Meligethes aeneus) usually appears first in the Zemgale region, of course, because it is warmer there and it also grows larger areas of rapeseed, it also appears in Kurzeme … usually one of the first is Latgale. In Vidzeme, maybe a little later," said Inga Inge Bēme, senior inspector of VAAD Vidzeme Regional Division.

The prevalence of these pests is affected by changes in temperature, so some pests may have survival difficulties, but they will not perish. Rapeseed bends in the cold but survives with all the pests.

Farmers have previously said that rapeseed fields in Vidzeme and Latgale have almost completely disappeared during the winter, causing significant losses to farmers. In the rest of the regions, the changing winter conditions have also left an impact, but the losses there are lower.

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