NovaChem > Industry News > 2018 > Get the better of slugs this season

Get the better of slugs this season

Published on 27/08/2018

It also comes down to recommending the right product.
“Slugs don’t have GPS,” points out Nufarm technical expert Alan Cliffe. “They don’t so much sniff out their food as fall over the top of it, and that’s why bait coverage is such a make or break factor when it comes to achieving good control.”
One of the most important pieces of advice for farmers and growers is to check their paddocks before spring sowing, rather than take the risk of drilling seed without bait.
“Once the damage is visible, it’s often too late to do much about it and slugs can make a mess of newly sown crops or grass in a matter of days.”
Industry research has repeatedly reinforced the importance of coverage (or bait points per sq metre) in obtaining effective control where high numbers of slugs are present, including in the Foundation for Arable Research’s Integrated Pest Management guide.
“This is where SlugOut comes into its own,” Cliff says. “At the recommended label rate of 10kg per ha, FAR trials show SlugOut has 112 bait points per sq metre, which is much higher than other baits with the same active ingredient.
“Remember, slugs can only detect their food from very close up. They have a poor sense of smell; they do not sniff out their food from a distance. They are much likely to crawl across it by sheer chance. Good coverage is the critical first step to good control.” 
He strongly encourages checking paddocks before sowing, leaving out sacks or boards for two or three nights to find out if slugs are present.
Bait should be automatically used in all notill situations, because not cultivating creates ideal conditions for survival. If cultivated seed beds are cloddy, farmers should monitor and consider baiting.
As well as high rates of coverage, metaldehyde, the active ingredient in SlugOut, has the further advantage of not killing beetles which naturally eat slugs, making it suitable for farmers who want to use IPM programmes.
Baits with methiocarb as the active ingredient result in secondary poisoning to predator beetles, Alan Cliff says.
Metaldehyde (the active ingredient in Slug- Out) is not harmful to earthworms; poisoned slugs pose no threat to birds or small mammals.
To maximise crop establishment SlugOut should be broadcast at 10-15kg per ha one to five days prior to, during or immediately after sowing.
For emerged or established crops, apply as soon as damage appears. Use the high rate if slug numbers are high.
SlugOut may also be drilled at 10kg per ha with seed in situations where the drill leaves an open slot allowing slugs easy access to the seed.
For more detail contact your Nufarm territory manager.

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