A new slug pellet range from De Sangosse will increase control over existing Metarex (metaldehyde) products and reduce the amount of active ingredient required, the company claims.
In their trials, the TDS (Technology De Sangosse) pellets killed up to 10% more slugs than Metarex pellets, despite containing less active ingredient (4% metaldehyde versus 5%) and application rates 1kg/ha lower, says the firm’s Eric Gussin.
“All our trials have found that the TDS pellet is more attractive and palatable than existing Metarex pellets, which explains why we can reduce the rate of active ingredient and still get good control. This means it will have less impact on the environment.”
|TDS slug pellets|
The product, manufactured in France, will be available for use this autumn and will be aimed at the quality end of the market, competing with the likes of Bayer CropScience’s methiocarb range andMakhteshim’s wet-processed products, he says. But unlike methiocarb, he says, metaldehyde-based pellets are harmless to carabid beetles – a natural predator of slugs.
“This is one of the big advantages of metaldehyde,” says independent consultant David Glen. “TDS does seem to have better persistence and palatability, so it is a step forward compared with existing products.”
Mr Gussin says the TDS pellets will cost “about the same per hectare” as Metarex, although exact pricing will depend on individual distributors.
However, he urges growers not to consider just cost/kg when deciding what pellets to use. “A lot of mini-products may be cheaper, but they’re not necessarily cost-effective. Quite often they can break up on application or in the field, and you will have to go back in with a second application anyway.”
“Cheap” products account for 50-60% of the UK market, he estimates, which is unique compared with other parts of Europe. “In France, for example, it’s nearer 5-10%. We need to work with growers to explain why cheapest isn’t always best.”
The new TDS metaldehyde pellets offer higher levels of slug control, says De Sangosse’s Eric Gussin.
|Higher slug risk this autumn?|