Potato growers are being urged to use lower concentration metaldehyde slug pellets to help stick to new guidelines drawn up to help preventtraces of metaldehyde appearing in water courses.
Chiltern Farm Chemicals’ 1.5% pellets are formulated in a way which makes them five times more effective than its older standard 6% product, promising high levels of slug control in potatoes, says East Anglian agronomist Colin Myram.
New guidelines stipulate that a maximum of 250g of active can be used per application and 700g per calendar year. The latter equates to 7.5kg/ha of the low-dose pellets, allowing six applications on potatoes and a further three in the following crop in the autumn.
“The high surface area of the product makes it effective at low doses,” Mr Myram says.”These 1.5% products should form the basis of your potato slug programme.”
The pellets contain the firm’s TR3799 metaldehyde, which is finely ground, like flour, and is coated with a compound to mask the smell of the chemical.