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The link between beet leafhoppers and curly top

March 22, 2016

What exactly is the link between this pest and virus?

The beet leafhopper favors dry, arid conditions and overwinters on weeds like wild mustard and Russian thistle before migrating to sugarbeet fields in the spring. Beet leafhopper feeding causes insignificant damage on its own, but is concerning because the insect can vector curly top virus. Beet leafhoppers can acquire the virus in as little as a few minutes of feeding and, for up to one month, can transmit the virus to other plants. Beet curly top is unique in that it is caused by a virus transmitted solely via the beet leafhopper. Controlling beet leafhopper is crucial to preventing curly top in sugarbeet crops.

Controlling weeds and volunteer beets in areas surrounding sugarbeet fields can help reduce beet leafhoppers populations, and in turn help prevent curly top virus. Additionally, planting early and selecting tolerant varieties can help combat curly top.

Using a seed treatment can also help protect sugarbeet plants from pests like beet leafhoppers. CruiserMaxx® Sugarbeets seed treatment insecticide/fungicide (combination of separately registered products) delivers consistent, long-lasting protection against early-season insects and diseases.

A component of CruiserMaxx Sugarbeets, Cruiser® 5FS seed treatment insecticide provides early season protection against injury from beet leafhopper which may spread curly top virus. Thiamethoxam, the active ingredient in Cruiser 5FS, can improve plant stands and help maximize yield potential, ultimately helping grow more sugar.

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Photos are either the propery of Syngenta or used under agreement.