The recent warm spell followed by the rain (and snow falling at the time of writing) will have given slugs a boost in activity, with consequent damage to crops in the ground, and a heightened risk to those to be sown this spring.
Metaldehyde slug pellets are now in their use up period (last use is June 2020), but it is still essential that unnecessary use of metaldehyde pellets is avoided in order to reduce the risk of detection in water. Consequently, the metaldehyde stewardship guidelines which include the recommendation that no metaldehyde pellets should be allowed to fall within a minimum of 10 metres of any field boundary or watercourse still need to be adhered to.
Ferric phosphate pellets are a good alternative to metaldehyde and are as effective at managing slugs, so when metaldehyde goes in 2020, we will still have an option for effective slug management.
Growers should only use slug pellets when necessary.
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