2018 - Winning the war against slugs pt2
Part 2: Making every pellet count
Applying high quality slug pellets accurately and at the most appropriate time and at the optimum dose is key to maximising slug control while protecting the environment
The right pellet at the right time at the right dose
The key to effective and sustainable slug control is to use 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 pellets meet all these requirements thanks to the 3% metaldehyde content and unique pellet design: the pellets are made from high-grade Durum wheat 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.
Gusto 3 pellets are smaller than other pellets at 2mm wide which allows a much higher number of baiting points per hectare: typically 45 pellets per m2 when applied at 3.5kg/ha. They also have excellent spread pattern and ballistic characteristics, making them easy to apply accurately across wide spreading widths.
Safeguarding the environment
Growers can minimise the impact of metaldehyde on drinking water quality and environmental diversity by ensuring the latest best-practice stewardship guidelines, such as those outlined on the www.getpelletwise.co.uk website, are adhered to.
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* can help to, a) assess levels of slug activity, and b) determine if climatic and soil conditions are suitable for applications to be made.
By considering factors such as soil type, soil moisture, temperature, wind speed, cultivation type, and current and previous cropping, 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 crop protection decisions, thereby ensuring key active ingredients, such as metaldehyde, are only ever applied at the right time and reducing the risk of these chemicals being lost from the crop protection armoury due to regulatory pressures.
* The WaterAware app featuring /#SlugAware is completely FREE to download and use
Adama’s ongoing commitment to promoting the responsible use of agrochemicals and reducing the threat of key active ingredients being lost means we’re asking growers to think carefully about how and when they apply slug pellets and to ensure all spreading equipment is properly maintained and calibrated before pellets are applied.
In addition to regular calibration checks, all application equipment should also be tested to the required standard to ensure it can spread the desired product over a uniform pattern: in order to comply with the Sustainable Use Directive, all slug pellet application equipment over five years old should have been tested by 26th November 2016, and then every six years thereafter. If equipment is less than five years old it needs to be tested by its fifth anniversary, and then every six years thereafter.
For more information about testing or to get your machine tested, go to www.nsts.org.uk or click here: www.nsts.org.uk/static/assets/downloads/SlugPelletApplicatorTestLeaflets.pdf