Potato growers used to using methiocarb arebeing urged to switch to a similar quality metaldehyde pellet to ensuresimilarly effective control of slugs.
While the loss of any active substance isfrustrating to lose a product of such high quality as methiocarb isparticularly disappointing and is likely to leave many potato growers wonderinghow they might ensure similar levels of slug control without it, says DeSangosse commercial manager, Simon McMunn.
But what made the methiocarb pellets ofsuch high quality was the wet process system used in their manufacture. TDS, the industry standard for metaldehydepellets, benefits from a similarly high standard production process so growerscan be confident of comparable levels of control, he adds.
Slug pellets are manufactured using twoprocesses: wet and dry with wet process recognised for producing pellets with amore uniform density and higher quality. This ensures they spread more evenly behind the applicator and persistlonger.
The quality of the flour used to deliver theactive substance is also important as it is this that determines thepalatability of the bait and, ultimately, its efficacy.
TDS is made using durum wheat flour whichis better at carrying metaldehyde than standard flours. Slugs are discriminateeaters too so the bait has to be palatable if the pest is to ingest sufficientbait to cause death, says Simon McMunn.
ApplyingTDS to potato crops at 75% canopy complete and again at tuber initiation willtypically give the crop sufficient protection to see it past the criticalstage. At 5kg/ha it delivers over 30pellets per square metre, widely considered by most experts to be sufficient todeliver effective control, he adds.