Sunday, 20 October 2013


This morning's crop walking was a direct result of a Twitter conversation yesterday. The hash tag of slimy army watch had several growers reporting the degree of field slug activity. The wet weather we are currently experiencing has mobilised the hollowing, shredding and munching mollusc.

A brisk walk around our wheat crops, following oilseed rape, showed limited  signs of slug activity. The seed beds were relatively dry and cobbly when drilled, so some ideal clods for these little critters to be hiding under.

JB Diago wheat just starting to emerge

Well, we drilled the wheat at between 50-75mm depth, to get the plant developed before the slugs had chance to hollow out the grains. We may lose one or two plants that fail to reach the surface but the good news is it takes longer for the slugs to do critical damage to the emerging wheat plant.

Yellow wheat plants show signs of emergence from depth

The warm weather is allowing the crop to emerge quickly and the activity, the moisture has mobilised the slugs..
Other growers on Twitter discussing their product of choice and all dismissed dry processed metaldehyde. Ferric phosphate was the answer for a couple of the generals in the war against slugs. Another suggestion was a combination of Ferric Phosphate and mini wet processed metaldehyde.

We'll keep a watching brief with a Ferric Phosphate applications in a couple of small areas. We may have won the battle against slugs at present, but the war is not over.

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