Independentconsultant and slug specialist Colin Myram reminds advisors and farmers thatnot all metaldehydes are the same a powerful message that needs to be appreciatedand acted upon by the industry so that multiple pellet applications can stillbe made whilst keeping well within the autumn Stewardship guidelines of 210grams/ha.
ColinMyram explains that the 1.5% TR3799 pellets from Chiltern Farm Chemicals arespecially formulated to work at much lower rates. The active in the pellets is finely milledand specially formulated, so that you need just 37gms to kill a slug, comparedwith 205gms of the standard metaldehyde. This means that they are 5 times aseffective at killing slugs as the standard product and can be used at lowerdose rates with the same efficacy whilst being much less of a risk to water.
Heexplains that the autumn Stewardship guidelines are for a maximum applicationrate of 210g metaldehyde as/ha (or preferably 160 g/ha) from the 1stAugust up to the 31st December. Computer modelling shows the less metaldehyde applied per hectare, theless gets into watercourses. It is vital that we keep metaldehyde out of waterand we must do everything we can to prevent any exceedances in water. One wayis to use a more active pellet.
Themore active TR3799 1.5% pellets can be applied at 4 kg/ha to deliver 60grams/ha of metaldehyde. This means that these pellets can, in effect, beapplied three times in the autumn. A 3% pellet applied at the same ratedelivers 120 gms of metaldehyde per hectare and so can only be applied oncewhist keeping within the maximum threshold.
Iam not convinced that this key message that not all metaldehydes are the samehas been fully received and appreciated by the industry as yet and it reallyneeds to be as it offers an effective solution to a difficult issue, saysColin.
Colinwarns that, although conditions have been dry, slugs are still a potentialthreat to oilseed rape and cereal seedlings. We know that there are high levels of eggs in the soil, with a matureadult slug laying up to 500 eggs in a season.
Itis already starting to get wetter and this will encourage eggs to hatch andslugs to come to the soil surface. Even recent heavy dews are sufficient to dothis. The slug population could increase to high levels and emerging wintercrops are vulnerable to damage. It is important to apply slug pellets soonafter drilling.
Therecommendation for this autumn is to apply 4 kg/ha of a 1.5% wet or hybridmetaldehyde pellet, (e.g. Attract or Allure,) with a maximum of threeapplications to cereals or oilseed rape.