The good weather over the bank holiday weekend has been a relief to farmers across the country, allowing combining to continue uninterrupted by rain.

The break in the wet weather has also allowed oilseed rape establishment to progress at pace, with farmers keen to to get their 2020 harvested crop drilled before it gets too late.

However, the wet weather that has so far dominated the summer months has allowed slug numbers to build, resulting in high populations across the country. The visible slugs on the soil surface are only an indication of the total population that inhabit a soil.

Dr Jenna Ross from Crop Health and Protection, and 2018 Nuffield Farming Scholar, comments “Slugs like mild damp conditions for breeding, the optimum temperature for the grey field slug is 17C.”

It is therefore little surprise that farmers establishing OSR now are seeing high levels of slug activity on the soil surface and are concerned about the potential population lurking within the soil profile.

Ironclad, seen here being applied in Suffolk over the weekend, is a 3.7% ferric phosphate slug pellet, formulated by way of a new advanced steam extrusion process called Duratech.

Ironclad slug pellet on quadbike with Stocks Ag slug pellet applicator

The Duratech process has been developed to produce a robust and rainproof pellet that lasts well under field conditions and is immediately palatable to all slugs. Palatability to small juvenile slugs is critically important to provide immediate protection of the crop. Slugs are random feeders, it is therefore imperative that pellets are immediately palatable, otherwise they will quickly move to the next source of food, potentially the crop.

Having ingested a lethal dose of the pellet, slugs will stop feeding immediately, thereby protecting the crop from any further damage, and retreat underground before dying. As a result, slug carcasses will not be visible on the soil surface and farmers should assess efficacy by monitoring crop damage rather than dead slug numbers.

Ironclad slug pellet on soil surface

In addition to the rainproof formulation, the Duratech production process creates a pellet that retains it colour even in wet conditions.

This means that the vivid blue Ironclad pellets are very easy to see on the soil surface or amongst trash from the previous crop.

Being able to see the pellets after application is of huge importance, allowing farmers and agronomists to assess the accuracy of application whilst ensuring even coverage and protection. It also allows for easier monitoring within the field and assessment of whether further application is required, depending on the level of pellets remaining and the level of pest pressure observed.

Ironclad is available now, please contact Gemini Slug Pellets for more information or your distributor.


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