Still plenty to do even though field work is at a standstill
Field work is at a standstill on most tillage farms. Last week saw most of the final herbicide applications. Despite the dry weather conditions crops and weeds remained wet, making it difficult to get a suitable spraying day.
Mildew is present on many winter barley crops so the cooler weather is welcome. It will not spread or produce spores below 6C, making a fungicide application hard to justify until early spring.
Some late-sown wheat has suffered a lot of slug damage in the past two weeks. Given the current slow growth, they will continue to be susceptible until next spring.
Deep sowing to minimise bird damage increases the risk from slugs as the longer it takes a crop to emerge and become established, the longer the risk period from slugs.
If more than one application of slug pellets is necessary I advise changing the active ingredient (AI) used. This will not only help to avoid resistance but will also decrease the risk of exceeding the maximum dose rate.
All products have a maximum individual dose rate and may also have a maximum dose rate per crop which may be exceeded with second or subsequent applications of the same product.
There are three approved AIs for slug control. Metaldehyde is the AI found in a large range of products including Metarex RG, Barclay Pathfinder, Wipeout and Farmco Slugs. The second AI, which is in Draza Elite, is Methiocarb.
The final AI for slug control is Ferric Phosphate, which is contained in products such as Ferramol Max and Sluxx.