Slug academy delivers sensible control advice

This season more than any other in recent memory has demonstrated the importance of a well devised slug control strategy, but for a number of reasons growers were not able to achieve the level of control they desired.

While the atrocious weather since April is a major factor that hampered efforts, more could have been achieved if growers were better informed about slug behaviour and how slug pellets can be used for best effect.

“We know growers have had a tough year and the enquiries we have received reveal a thirst for more detailed information on slug control practices. These have ranged from questions around slug breeding and feeding patterns to the best time to apply pellets to how different types of pellet deliver different levels of control,” said Simon McMunn commercial manager of pellet manufacturer De Sangosse.

In response the De Sangosse section of the website that gives advice on slug control was recently expanded to explain how control can be influenced through pellet choice and timing of application.  

But the website is written principally for the farm adviser and the company was keen to reach growers directly in a bid to ensure they are better prepared for the spring when slug activity is likely to remain high.

“With an unprecedented number of slugs around this autumn we know that the pressure on crops come the spring will be immense so have teamed up with Farmers Weekly and independent slug specialist Dr David Glen to create a series of four modules that cover all aspects of slug behaviour and effective control so growers are better prepared for future attacks,” added Simon McMunn.

Although growers have been battling slugs since time began, De Sangosse believes that growers have at times been misled on how to achieve good levels of control.

“This year growers were bombarded with advice, not all of which was sound and he hope that the academy, which will cover all aspects of a slug’s life cycle and means of control, will address the balance. Slug pellets are pesticides and, like all plant protection products, there are stewardship issues to consider,” he says.

One of the myths that he believes has been perpetrated concerns an overstating of the importance of baiting points.

“There are a number of factors that influence pellet effectiveness and while it is important to gain good ground coverage our research testing suggests that 30 to 35 pellets per square metre of a quality pellet, such as TDS, is the optimum number of baiting points.  Growers should not get side-tracked by comments around baiting points because it is an attempt to distract from the importance of other attributes such as spreadibility and wet weather persistence,” he adds.

To visit the FWi Academy on slug control sponsored by De Sangosse please click here