Get Trapping!

** Latest – Slug watch results and Meta map **

Get trapping and get counting. That’s the message from the experts if you really want to get on top of slug control and want to add some sophistication to your existing slug programme.

Slugs are the number one arable pest, and a slug surge last year, with damp conditions this summer mean populations are likely to be high this autumn.

To help growers keep tabs on the risk, FWi has teamed up with Meta-metaldehyde manufacturer Lonza and UK pellet manufacturers De Sangosse and Luxan in a new national drive to get real-time information on in-field slug populations over the autumn.

To get involved and to get your FREE penknife just follow these simple steps:

• Register, by filling in your name, address and mobile phone number below in our online form.
• Get out into your fields and Get Trapping, following the LINK guidelines you’ll find below.
• Use your mobile phone to text us on 60300 with the average number you find for each trap you set, details below.

Register to join Slug Watch …

What do I text?

Just key in slugs <your region> <slug population> So, for example, if your average trapped number was 4 and you live in Shropshire, you’d key in slugs west 4 and send it to 60300. Look here to find your region.

We’ll send you a FREE penknife when we receive your first submission AND you’ll be entered for our competition to win a CASE OF CLASSIC ENGLISH WINE!

What happens to the data?

slugonkeyboardWe’re building a national Meta-map which will give an indication of the slug burden in your area. This will go live on FWi as soon as we have enough data.

There’s also a network of independent experts monitoring numbers and feeding their data through.

They are:
• South: Professor David Glen, from Styloma Research & Consulting
• West: David Green, from ADAS Wolverhampton
• Scotland and North: Dr Andy Evans, from SAC Edinburgh
• East: Greg Talbot from ADAS Boxworth

How do I trap? – LINK guidelines

These new guidelines have been developed following a four-year industry & Defra-funded LINK research project. Follow these and you will get a realistic idea of the burden on your farm and whether you need to apply Meta-metaldehyde pellets

• The activity of slugs on the soil and field surface relies on humid and mild weather with night time temperatures above 5°C and top daytime temperatures below 25°C. When planning to trap slugs the field surface should be visibly moist and be wet enough to remain moist all night. If the soil surface has dried out during the trapping period, ignore the result.
• Typically, traps consist of inverted plant saucers (25cm diameter) or fabric mats of a similar size. Using bait increases trap catches, but never use piles of pellets as trap bait for fear of endangering non-target species. Chicken layer’s mash has been proven to be safe and effective as slug trap bait.
• The best time in the cropping cycle to test trap for slugs is prior to cultivation. After the soil has been disturbed and inverted by cultivation, slug numbers can be easily underestimated as their surface activity is severely reduced.
• For a statistically-sound result the accepted pattern of traps in the field is  a ‘W’ shape in each field being assessed. For fields up to 20 ha in size nine traps should be laid out. For bigger fields 13 traps should be used with the ‘W’ pattern set up to concentrate sampling in known slug damage areas.
• Once set up, the traps should be left overnight and examined early the next morning.
• Count the slugs. For fields going into wheat, if less than four per trap, plan to continue trapping and monitoring when weather is “slug friendly”.  If four or more slugs are counted per trap it is advised to apply pellets, dependent on wet or cloddy soil conditions at and after drilling and the stage of crop growth. Always use manufacturer’s recommended dose-rates.
• In standing cereals before oilseed rape four slugs counted per trap are sufficient to justify the application of slug pellets. And, warns Professor Glen, in cereal stubbles immediately prior to planting rape even one slug per trap is an indication of a slug population which could need pellet application.

Should I apply pellets?

plant health thumbConsult your agronomist, but if thresholds are reached, wet or cloddy seedbed conditions justify pellet application to avoid damage, especially at the key point of autumn drilling in vulnerable crops such as winter wheat and oilseed rape.

Slugs are the number one arable pest and can cause severe damage to cereals and oilseed rape.

It’s a risk few growers can afford to make, and you need a pellet you can rely on. That’s why you should always use Meta-metaldehyde pellets.

Always look for the Meta Quality Mark, because not all pellets are the same.

What region am I in?

Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northampton, Nottinghamshire, Rutland and Suffolk

Berkshire, Channel Islands, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire.

Avon, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire and the whole of Wales.

Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Isle of Man, Gt Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Yorkshire, Scotland and N Ireland.

• The first 400 FWi users who register with full address details and mobile phone number AND text through their slug population data will qualify for the free penknife. Offer closes 30/10/2005.
• All FWi users who register, text through their data and complete the qualifying statement on the registration form will be entered for the monthly competition for a case of classic English wine.
• Registered users should follow the LINK guidelines to get an accurate idea of slug populations in their fields. Counts can be made and data submitted by text as often as necessary. The knife will be sent to each user after his/her first text submission. Users must use the mobile number with which they registered. Only one knife per household will be distributed. All registrants must be over 18 years of age.
• The competition runs for three months. The entry and closing dates for each month are as follows: 01/08/2005-31/08/2005; 01/09/2005-30/09/2005; 01/10/2005-31/10/2005. There will be one winner each month who will receive one case of wine.
• All registered users who make text submissions in a particular month will qualify for the competition in that month. The winner will be the qualifying registered user who has, in the opinion of the judges, submitted the best completed qualifying statement. The judges’ decision is final. The winner will be announced on FWi in the month following the qualifying month.
• Registrations must include correct e-mail and postal addresses and mobile number to qualify for either the competition or the free key ring penknife. Incomplete or incorrect registrations will be deemed ineligible.
• No employee of Lonza, De Sangosse Ltd, Luxan UK, Mistral Group or Reed Business Information is eligible to enter the competition.
• The text service is NOT a premium rate service. It will be charged at the standard rate by the provider – usually about 10p, depending on tariff, etc.
• Registered users’ details will not be used for promotional purposes other than to provide information about the Meta-monitor campaign, which ends on October 31 2005.
• Registered users’ details will not be handed to third parties.
• Details of the judges are available on request. The Meta Quality Mark is a registered trademark of Lonza – Algroup Lonza AG, Munchensteinerstrasse 38, CH 4002 Basel, Switzerland


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