With extreme slug pressure expected to affect all crops this autumn and mainstay treatment metaldehyde presenting a water-related risk, the latest ferric phosphate product offers an alternative for cereals and oilseed rape crops.

A strong slug control programme will be essential for the season ahead, as all autumn drilled crops are likely to be vulnerable to slug attack, said David Ellerton of Hutchinsons.

But with the future of methaldehyde under threat due to its levels in drinking water, the latest 3% phosphate slug pellet, Derrex, offers an alternative with a good environmental profile and no buffer zone restriction.

“There are no effects on other wildlife, or non-target species such as earthworms or carabid beetles, nor are there any concerns in vulnerable water catchments,” he said.

“There are no effects on other wildlife, or non-target species such as earthworms or carabid beetles, nor are there any concerns in vulnerable water catchments.”
David Ellerton, Hutchinsons

It is a dry process pasta pellet from Certis, and has demonstrated its ability to control slugs at least as well as the market leading baits, particularly for cereal and oilseed rape crops.

“It’s an extremely effective, highly specific product, which we are finding spreads very well and with minimal dust.

Dr Ellerton recommend growers to follow an early application of metaldehyde with Derrex this autumn.

With very high slug populations due to the continuing wet weather, there is a very real risk that the levels of metaldehyde will exceed the drinking water directive limits.

There is no question that the future of metaldehyde is at risk, so being able to use an alternative active would be sensible, added Dr Ellerton.

More on this topic

Read more on autumn slug control strategies