Slug damage is common in winter oilseed rape crops and wheat will be next on the menu. In oilseed rape, the crop needs to be protected from slug damage up until the 4-leaf stage.
One approach to reducing the risk of slug damage to wheat is to provide a fine, firm seedbed for this autumns’ crop. Soil cultivation can reduce the risk of slug damage, as can deeper sowing of seed (3-4 cm).
Generally, a pre-emergence application of pellets with a follow up post-emergence if damage is seen tends to do the job in both wheat and winter oilseed rape. However, further treatments may be necessary if the crop is slow to emerge or slug pressure is severe.
The UK Government has announced that all outdoor use of metaldehyde slug pellets will be stopped by March 2022. The Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG) stewardship guidelines still apply for the use of metaldehyde molluscicide products this autumn and next year. No metaldehyde pellets should be allowed to fall within a minimum of 10 metres of any field boundary or watercourse. If treatment with metaldehyde products is necessary, it’s imperative to refer to the full set of MSG guidelines which can be found at here
Note that ferric phosphate slug pellets do not have any restrictions on use and tend to be just as effective as metaldehyde slug pellets and can be applied up to the field boundary.
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