Regular use of metaldehyde pellets to beat autumn slugs
Using low 1.5% active substance metaldehyde pellets this autumn will allow growers to use more than one application while keeping well within the Stewardship guidelines.
It makes sense to use less metaldehyde to reduce the risk of leaching, but it still has to do the job and kill slugs.
In autumn 2012 metaldehyde was widely detected in water with some peaks following rainfall. It was an exceptional but disappointing year for metaldehyde detections, but we still need to do something to prevent this happening again, such as by using the minimum amount of active substance per hectare.
It has been proved that the lower amount of active substance you put on, the lower the risk of leaching leading to metaldehyde peaks, hence the upper limits being set as part of the guidelines.
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This means using the lowest active substance pellet, providing it works. Mathematically a 1.5% pellet applied at four kilos per hectare delivers 60 grams per hectare of metaldehyde. This means that, while keeping well within the maximum application rate from the August up to the end of December, you can apply these pellets three times in the autumn. A 3% pellet applied at the same rate delivers 120gms of metaldehyde and so can only be applied once at this rate.
Using a pellet little and often while keeping within the maximum limits must be the logical and the safest way forward.
Using the wet-type 1.5% metaldehyde pellet, Attract, you have more leeway, more flexibility and more time to decide how to plan. But the low-dose pellet has to work – and there is much evidence that it does work.