Increasing slug numbers threaten potatoes

Recent wet weather has prompted a significant increase in slug populations and potato crops will be at particular risk from damage, growers have been warned.

“We’re seeing plenty of slugs in the field now,” said Hutchinson technical director Dick Neale. “The majority of crops are entering canopy complete stage now, so you need to think carefully how best to protect your crop.”

He advised growers to apply a quality mini pellet and aim for an even spread with plenty of baiting points – 30-40 per square metre. “A rate of around 5-6kg/ha, depending on product, should ensure this,” he said.

“We’ve had extremely wet weather for the time of year and growers need the treatment to last well.”

Peter Shakespeare from Certis reported a sharp increase in sales of its Meta quality metaldehyde pellets following the wet spell. “There’s certainly been a lot of slug activity and plenty of product has shifted recently.”

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