Slug stripping prompts yield fears

Large populations of slugs have caused significant damage to a 10ha area of Robigus winter wheat near Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire, according to contractor, Malcolm Leek.

Mr Leek noticed the large number of slugs (see picture below) collected on a sheet placed under the tractor to prevent crop damage while spraying for orange blossom midge last week (w/e 11 June).

“We could see where the slugs had stripped the leaves and went straight in with pellets. They’ve ripped leaf area off the flag leaf, so yields will be affected.”

He reckons there were also at least three generations of slugs, so fears that they could pose potential problems when establishing the following bean crop this autumn.

Mr Leek has never seen such a high population of slugs before and thinks that last season’s oilseed rape crop, combined with moist soils and recent heavy dews contributed to their sudden appearance.

If you have experienced similar problems or have any other arable issues, let us know in the ‘Crop comments’ section of the FWi Forum.

slugs on tractor sheet

These slugs were collected from the top 15cm of the crop, after covering about 2ha with a 12m sprayer.