Lo-till 2001 drill deep for no slugs

7 September 2001

Lo-till 2001 drill deep for no slugs

By Tom Allen-Stevens reporting from Lo-Till 2001

Growers should drill a little bit deeper and not bother to put slug pellets down the drill to decrease slug pressure on the wheat crop.

This was the advice from top UK slug specialist David Glen in the first seminar at the Lo-till event in Oxfordshire on Friday, 7 September.

Slugs move in fissures in the soil or spaces between soil clods, so the best slug control is achieved by a fine, firm seedbed, he said.

This is not always achievable, but research has shown that increasing drilling depth to around 40mm keeps the seed out of reach.

In trials work carried out at IACR Long Ashton, where the seed was drilled shallow, there was a 37% slug kill if no pellets were applied.

This reduced to around 16% if pellets were drilled or broadcast, which was the same percentage as if the seed was drilled deeper and left untreated.

The best approach is to drill deep and broadcast slug pellets, said Prof Glen. Under this regime, the seed kill was reduced to just 6%.

He also advised growers to put down bait traps to monitor numbers but cautioned that weather should be taken into account.

If its dry, you wont see many slugs, but dont be misled into thinking theyre not there they stay underground until conditions are right.

He advised growers to use a piece of board with a spoonful of slug pellets and monitor after three days. If four slugs are found, an application of pellets is advised.


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