Accuracy essential for effective slug control
29th June 2021
As part of its ongoing commitment to promote the responsible use of crop protection chemicals ADAMA is asking growers to think carefully about how and when they apply slug pellets this autumn and to ensure all spreading equipment is properly maintained and calibrated before pellets are applied.
“To enable accurate pellet application, all spreading equipment should be regularly calibrated throughout the season to ensure it is producing an even and accurate spreading pattern,” explains Mel Wardle, molluscicide product manager for Adama UK. “Spreaders over five years old should also be formerly tested to ensure they comply with the EU’s Sustainable Use Directive.”
Ms Wardle also recommends that care should be taken to ensure spreaders are positioned at an appropriate height: “For most quad-mounted applicators, the recommended height is around 110cm,” she states. “Operating speed and discharge aperture settings should also be considered to ensure pellets are applied at the correct rate, with the best practice considered to be a forward speed of 12km/h.”
Ms Wardle goes on to say that there are two golden rules to determine when pellets should be applied: “Only after slug populations have reached threshold, and only when weather conditions are appropriate, should applications commence. In terms of the latter, it is strongly advised not to apply slug pellets immediately prior to heavy rainfall, as this can lead to the rapid degradation of slug pellets – especially if they are of a poorer quality – thereby increasing the risk of active ingredients being leached into water courses.”
In order to limit leaching losses, Ms Wardle recommends the use of a slug bait which is durable and long-lasting, even in damp conditions: “Gusto IRON, Adama’s new 2.94 per cent ferric phosphate molluscicide, is manufactured using Desidro Technology – a two-stage drying procedure which dries the pellets from the inside before using a convection heater to gently dry the exterior. This process ensures an ideal balance between persistence and palatability, with Gusto IRON pellets proving hard enough to ensure good weather resistance, but also remaining palatable to slugs even when first applied.
“The two-stage drying process also improves robustness, thereby allowing for a more accurate spreading pattern and consistent baiting point density,” Ms Wardle concludes
For more information about testing or to get your machine tested, go to www.nsts.org.uk
For more information about Gusto Iron, please click HERE.