15 August 2001
How do you control trash and slugs?
What is the best approach to slug control and residue management and is lo-till sensible for second wheats?
The greater the volume of trash and the shorter the period between crops, the deeper you will have to cultivate to incorporate the trash in the soil to dilute its effect on the following crop.
This is why ploughing will remain the most effective system in Scotland, with the turn around between crops being very short. But in the southern half of the UK, there are weeks between crops.
My favoured system when direct drilling second wheats is to bale the straw then harrow. If the straw is to be chopped we leave a long stubble and harrow perhaps twice to ensure any lumps of trash are re-distributed.
A good chop is essential. If the chop is poor you can run into all sorts of problems.
Harrowing also seems to help with slug control, it physically destroys some of the adults and it exposes slug eggs to the elements.
The most effective slug control system appears to be to pellet at drilling and again at emergence.