The timely application of slug control measures could help to ensure the marketability of your potato crop according to Bayer’s Development Manager Richard Meredith. He says: “Slug control in potatoes is about protecting tuber quality and, therefore, marketable yield rather than preventing outright yield loss. Relatively low slug populations can cause significant economic loss as samples may still be downgraded even when actual feeding damage is slight.
“Once slugs start feeding on tubers all pellets become less effective, so control must be achieved before tuber damage starts. We recommend applying a first application of Draza forte at 3.75 kg /ha at around 75% canopy closure. This is the ideal time for the first bait application, as crop shading is sufficient to encourage slugs to the surface while below-ground attractions (i.e tubers ) are fewer.
“You should continue to monitor crops and apply one or two further applications of Draza forte if slugs are active on the soil surface prior to tuber bulking.”
Pellets need to be effective across all slug species including keeled and roundback (Black) slugs, and resistant to weathering and moulding especially in irrigated crops.
Richard says: “In high risk situations you should alternate Draza forte with high quality metaldehyde or ferric phosphate pellets at recommended rates. If slugs start feeding on tubers, you should prioritise those fields affected for early harvest.”