Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Seed & Establishment

Bayer Crop Science

Digital CSFB Monitoring Shows Great IPM Promise

Article overview

A new system for automatically assessing cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) pressure under evaluation in the UK is showing great promise.

A new system for automatically assessing cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) pressure under evaluation in the UK is showing great promise.

MagicTrap is a yellow water trap with a difference. It features a high-resolution camera that regularly photographs the contents, automatically identifies them and alerts growers via a smartphone app. At a stroke, this eliminates the need to inspect traps and provides continuously-updated intelligence of pest pressures.

Solar-powered with a 7-day battery back-up and water reservoir to counter evaporation in warm weather, the self-sufficient system can currently identify CSFB, pollen beetle and weevil. It has been commercially available in Germany and Austria for two years, where it is quickly being adopted by growers.

“MagicTraps are the latest digital decision support system helping growers monitor pests for the most effective crop management,” says Bayer digital campaign manager, Max Dafforn. “We are very excited to be able to bring them to the UK and see them playing a really valuable role in providing the best available pest intelligence for IPM programmes.”

North Norfolk manager, Mike Wilton of Stody Estate near Fakenham is one of the first growers to evaluate the trap as part of his long-standing involvement in Dekalb strip trials. He drilled 262ha of winter oilseed rape this season and still has 258ha left, losing two to pigeons and another two to particularly challenging terrain.

Despite generally low CSFB levels locally last autumn, he likes the system and is keen to continue evaluating it in the coming season, wanting to explore other situations in which it could be useful in his arable rotation.

That Stody Estate has yet to lose any of its oilseed rape to CSFB is down to the thoroughly integrated approach Mr Wilton takes to crop establishment to get his crops off to the best possible start. “We only grow hybrids, always concentrate on getting good seedbeds, and don’t sow until there is sufficient moisture in them. This can take two or three rain events. If necessary, we will delay drilling; moisture is far more critical than drilling date.

“We include a starter fertiliser with the seed too, and roll fields soon after drilling for the best seed-to-soil contact. If we have sufficient soil moisture, we know the crop will come up in four to five days and establish evenly, growing strongly away from any pest challenge. Our aim is to establish the plant populations of around 25 plants/ m squared to take advantage of the hybrid’s branching abilities for the most productive canopies, To register your interest in MagicTrap or to obtain further information on the system, email

Click here to request a FieldView Demo

Discover more in our Insights