The NFU has repeated the message to growers that they should stick to the voluntary guidelines on metaldeyhyde application rates or risk losing a valuable slug control measure.


NFU combinable crops board chairman Ian Backhouse said the actions of individual farmers can and would make a difference.
 
“The technical standard which is being breached here is so low that it will take all farmers following the new guidelines to the letter to make real improvements,” he said.

“I am calling on fellow farmers to follow the new voluntary guidelines produced by the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG), to follow the risk assessment and be prepared to use alternative options in high-risk conditions.”
 
Mr Backhouse said farmers should look at other control options first like cultivations, seed rates and seed dressings and use metaldehyde slug pellets as the last resort.

“The clock is ticking now and we must all work together to preserve metaldehyde and ensure we keep all of the tools available in the fight against crop pests.”