Recent damp and more typically autumnal weather has led to an increased risk of slug activity within newly-established arable crops and specialist agro-chemical business, Adama is urging growers to minimise the threat of damage by making every slug pellet count.

“By applying the right pellet at the right time and at the right dose, growers can maximise slug control while minimising the impact of key molluscicide active ingredient, metaldehyde, on drinking water quality and environmental diversity,” explained Andy Bailey, Adama’s fungicide and molluscicide technical specialist.

“Growers should calibrate and test their spreading equipment to ensure pellets are applied accurately and at the correct dose, and are also advised to select a bait which not only offers high mortality rates, but which is also highly palatable and which retains its integrity over a long period of time, even in persistently wet conditions.”

Gusto 3, Enzo and Carakol pellets meet these requirements due to a 3% metaldehyde content and unique design. They are made from a unique blend of high quality flour which is wet mixed, extruded and then dried using a two-stage process that microwaves the pellet to dry the inside before using a standard heating system to dry the exterior.

“This ensures an ideal balance between persistence and palatability, with Adama’s slug pellets proving hard enough to ensure excellent weather resistance and longer activity, but also remaining attractive to slugs even when first applied,” added Mr Bailey.

He pointed out that growers should take an integrated approach to slug control by evaluating damage risk factors on an individual field basis. “Prior to the application of any baiting product, growers should assess the risk by evaluating the slug population by trapping with a non-chemical bait, and should only apply pellets if and when the relevant threshold has been exceeded and when weather and soil conditions are conducive to slug activity.”

The latest ‘Get Pelletwise!’ best-practice stewardship guidelines should also be followed. “Essentially, this means minimising the risk to water and wildlife by preventing pellets from landing within 10m of any field boundary, hedge or watercourse, using the minimum dose to avoid drainage and run-off losses, and not applying when heavy rainfall is forecast or if field drains are flowing,” he said.