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Alternative slug pellet supplies holding up

In the light of unprecedented slug pressure and the extended autumn planting season growers are using molluscicides at levels not seen for several years. As a result manufacturers have been working flat out to keep supplies of slug pellets flowing.

Certis report that supplies of their ferric phosphate based slug pellets are holding up to the unprecedented demand, and according to Robert Lidstone, Certis Marketing & Business Development Manager; “Supplies of Sluxx and Derrex are available and, to date, the exceptional levels of demand have been met.”
Given the recent coverage concerning metaldehyde exceedances in raw water leading to concerns regarding the future of the mainstay molluscicide metaldehyde, Robert says that with saturated soils and drains flowing across much of the country growers should use an alternative active ingredient in order to preserve it for the future.
“The situation for many is that the metaldehyde dose rate restrictions mean that the allowable maximum application can be used up in just a single application and with slug pressure continuing unabated in many crops there is often a need for a repeat treatment of a molluscicide,” he says.
“It’s fair to say, that due to the conditions, 2012 is a test year for the newcomer slug pellet ferric phosphate, but reports from the market strongly support our extensive field trials which show that ferric phosphate is equally effective as both metaldehyde and methiocarb.
“The strong environmental profile of both Sluxx and Derrex means there are no restrictions in fields bordering watercourses, with no need for a buffer zone, making it an obvious choice.”
The company’s technical officer Alan Horgan adds; “At the 7kg/ha rate you can make four treatments of Sluxx or Derrex respectively, with the flexibility to treat right up to field boundaries. “And there is the added peace of mind as drilling continues late into the year that the treatments respond well in colder temperatures. “Not all slug pellets continue to be as effective temperatures fall,” he says.
“Comparable trials work with Sluxx and Derrex has shown that at lower temperatures where slug presence is still an issue, ferric phosphate is highly effective. A reduction in plant damage of more than double was seen when compared to a leading mainstream molluscicide.”