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Oct 15, 2018 11:02:02 AM - by Andrew Bailey - Cereals Fungicide Technical Specialist
2 min

2018 - Onset of wetter conditions raises threat of slug activity


The recent onset of wetter, more typically autumnal weather has led to an increased risk of slug activity within newly established arable crops. Growers are therefore urged to minimise the threat of slug damage by making every pellet count.

By applying the right pellet at the right time and at the right dose, growers can maximise slug control while minimising the impact of key molluscicide active ingredient, metaldehyde, on drinking water quality and environmental diversity.

All spreading equipment should be calibrated and tested to ensure pellets are applied accurately and at the correct dose. Growers are also advised to select a bait which not only offers high mortality rates, but which is also highly palatable and which retains its integrity over a long period of time, even in persistently wet conditions.

Gusto 3, Enzo and Carakol pellets meet these requirements thanks to their 3% metaldehyde content and a unique pellet design: the pellets are made from a unique blend of high quality flour which is wet mixed, extruded and then dried using Desidro® technology – a two-stage process that microwaves the pellet to dry the inside before using a standard heating system to dry the exterior.  This ensures an ideal balance between persistence and palatability, with Adama’s slug pellets proving hard enough to ensure excellent weather resistance and longer activity, but also remaining attractive to slugs even when first applied.


Growers should also take an integrated approach to slug control (more information at www.getpelletwise.co.uk) and should evaluate damage risk factors on an individual field level prior to the application of any baiting product: the slug population should be evaluated by trapping with a non-chemical bait, with subsequent live pellets only applied if and when the relevant population threshold has been exceeded and when weather and soil conditions are conducive to slug activity.

The latest ‘Get Pelletwise!’ best-practice stewardship guidelines should also be followed: essentially this means minimising the risk to water and wildlife by preventing pellets from landing within 10 metres of any field boundary, hedge or watercourse, using the minimum dose to avoid drainage and run-off losses, and not applying when heavy rainfall is forecast or if field drains are flowing.

For growers in any doubt about when it is appropriate to apply slug pellets, Adama’s WaterAware featuring #SlugAware app* predicts the likely threat of slug activity, and determines if climatic and soil conditions are suitable for pellets to be applied – by considering factors such as soil type, humidity, soil moisture, temperature, cultivation method, wind and current and previous crops, the app predicts a low, medium or high threat of slug activity in a given 24 to 72-hour period.  With this information to hand, growers can make informed decisions to ensure key active ingredients, such as metaldehyde, are only ever applied at the right time.

* The WaterAware app featuring #SlugAware is FREE to use

Adama Water Aware App

Andrew Bailey - Cereals Fungicide Technical Specialist
Andrew Bailey - Cereals Fungicide Technical Specialist
One of the UK arable sector’s most experienced fungicide specialists. With a background in applied biology (specialising in crop science and plant pathology), and with a career spanning 30 years in field based research, fungicide development and fungicide technical support, Andy has worked in the crop protection sector on a UK, European and global level.

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