Why 2017 will go down as the year of the slug for this tillage farmer
In the Chinese calendar 2017 is the year of the rooster, but I think for us it will be the year of the slug.
The warm, dull and damp weather, has lead to a population explosion of slugs. This is especially true after the oil seed rape. Every stalk of last year's crop has a family of slugs living in it. I really don't like using slug pellets, but unfortunately we have to.
The newer varieties don't kill the earthworms, so I don't feel as bad. We have tried many different types of pellets and this season we are trying some which are supposed to be more palatable for the slug called Axcela.
This year is a really good test for any slug product. I was about to put a slug trap in one field and I happened to pick up a large rock, to find eight of the little darlings living under it. There was no need for traps to see that there is a huge problem.
We eventually got the spring beans cut after four attempts. The weather this year is really hampering all field work.
The crops was slightly higher in moisture at 22-24pc than we would like but it was better to get it in than risk waiting for the moisture to drop.
It did three tonnes per acre which was better than expected as the headlands were affected by compaction and it was shorter and thinner all year.