Effective slug management in potatoes relies on applying molluscicide pellets at the best timing.
Trials over several years have demonstrated that the key timing for pellet application is just before the crop canopy meets across the rows, particularly if there has been some rainfall or crops have been irrigated. Missing this timing will not provide significant reductions in slug damage even if pellets are applied several times after this timing.
Trials have shown that 3x pellet applications: just before crop canopy meets; 3-4 weeks later if there has been rainfall; and at burning down of the crop, has given good reductions in slug damage. Both ferric phosphate and
metaldehyde are effective molluscicides and can be used in a programme (e.g. ferric phosphate, metaldehyde, ferric phosphate). If planning to use a metaldehyde product note the guidelines issued by the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group and in particular the requirement for a 10 metre buffer zone to the edge of the field where no metaldehyde pellets should be applied.
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