TDS is a replacement of equal quality to methiocarb

Potato growers used to using methiocarb are being urged to switch to a similar quality metaldehyde pellet to ensure similarly effective control of slugs.

“While the loss of any active substance is frustrating to lose a product of such high quality as methiocarb is particularly disappointing and is likely to leave many potato growers wondering how they might ensure similar levels of slug control without it,” says De Sangosse commercial manager, Simon McMunn.

“But what made the methiocarb pellets of such high quality was the wet process system used in their manufacture.  TDS, the industry standard for metaldehyde pellets, benefits from a similarly high standard production process so growers can be confident of comparable levels of control,” he adds.

Slug pellets are manufactured using two processes: wet and dry with wet process recognised for producing pellets with a more uniform density and higher quality.  This ensures they spread more evenly behind the applicator and persist longer.

The quality of the flour used to deliver the active substance is also important as it is this that determines the palatability of the bait and, ultimately, its efficacy.

“TDS is made using durum wheat flour which is better at carrying metaldehyde than standard flours. Slugs are discriminate eaters too so the bait has to be palatable if the pest is to ingest sufficient bait to cause death,” says Simon McMunn.

Applying TDS to potato crops at 75% canopy complete and again at tuber initiation will typically give the crop sufficient protection to see it past the critical stage.  “At 5kg/ha it delivers over 30 pellets per square metre, widely considered by most experts to be sufficient to deliver effective control,” he adds.