DD Drill and SLUGS

snarling bee

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Bedfordshire
I had a demo of an Avatar drill in October. We drilled WW straight into straw removed wheat stubble and then continued onto cultivated ground. Compared to a tine drill and Vaderstad in the same field there is a huge amount more slug damage, both on the stubble and cultivated ground. Nothing was rolled. In a year where the only slug damage I have is behind the Avatar I am surprised and disappointed. Exactly the same in some winter barley drilled partly by Avatar, partly by Vaderstad in the next door field. The thought of having to treat every acre for slugs by going DDing, or even buying and Avatar/750A/Horizon is not endearing me to make the change.
Fields are a very long time out of rape and 40-50% clay.
Thoughts please.
 

Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
slugs have more to do with rotation, trash management and insecticide use than the drill in my experience

drills that don’t consolidate well can be a problem however but both Avatar and Varderstad are very good at consolidating if set correctly
 

snarling bee

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Bedfordshire
slugs have more to do with rotation, trash management and insecticide use than the drill in my experience

drills that don’t consolidate well can be a problem however but both Avatar and Varderstad are very good at consolidating if set correctly
Continuous Wheat - no slugs; baled - no slugs; no insecticide for 3 years.

That's why I'm asking.

The only thing favouring slugs is the FYM and compost mix that was applied in crop in April this year. EDIT, but that was on the field only moderately affected.
 
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Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Continuous Wheat - no slugs; baled - no slugs; no insecticide for 3 years.

That's why I'm asking.

The only thing favouring slugs is the FYM and compost mix that was applied in crop in April this year.

Was this light grazing or more severe, such as grain hollowing / severe leaf stripping than was or wasn't controllable. Want to put your observation into some context.

The actual slugs -- large adults 1 to 2 cm size or those tiny freshly hatched slugs for which pellets seem to have little effect.

You say 50% clay. Soil series if known. Again for context.
 

snarling bee

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Bedfordshire
Was this light grazing or more severe, such as grain hollowing / severe leaf stripping than was or wasn't controllable. Want to put your observation into some context.

The actual slugs -- large adults 1 to 2 cm size or those tiny freshly hatched slugs for which pellets seem to have little effect.

You say 50% clay. Soil series if known. Again for context.
Heavy grazing of established plants.
Evesham series stoneless clay.
Too early to establish if treatment has worked on the Barley. Wheat not severe enough to treat.
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
I've always suffered with slugs here.
That hasn't changed with DD.
In fact wheat after osr is easier now drilling into loads of osr volunteers.
And tbh, I'd take slug control costs over BG control costs (plus the diesel and machinery associated with cultivation) any day of the week.

Btw, BG hasn't gone yet, but it's diminishing rapidly.
 

Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
Continuous Wheat - no slugs; baled - no slugs; no insecticide for 3 years.

That's why I'm asking.

The only thing favouring slugs is the FYM and compost mix that was applied in crop in April this year. EDIT, but that was on the field only moderately affected.

how much weight transfer did you have on the Avatar coulters ? you can set them very light or very heavy vs the Väderstad which is heavy all the time ?

just ideas but given what else you say the only real difference is levels of consolidation each drill will have achieved I guess ?
 
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Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Heavy grazing of established plants.
Evesham series stoneless clay.
Too early to establish if treatment has worked on the Barley. Wheat not severe enough to treat.

Thanks for the clarification SB. Helps set the scene. Evesham would be a quite heavy clay.

I go to a number of farms. None practise direct drilling but a few take the opportunity to direct drill on an ad hoc basis although not always with proper direct drills, save one man who has a 3 metre Moore, so I am first to say is not a proper comparison, nor should I comment. But I expect to see more locally here in coming years. This is primarily into Wallasea series Silty Clay marine alluvium. Oilseed Rape will be somewhere in the rotation on most of these fields. Very little insecticide used for several years. I have seen severe leaf stripping, usually in patches which can be very localized and thus not easy to pick up in good time when field walking at crop emergence. Slugs were identified as a potential issue with direct drilling in the 1970's and so is always in back of my mind when I look at any direct drilled crop.

I find the problem is those little tiny newly hatched slugs that do not seem to feed on the pellets but keep stripping and if in sufficient numbers and plants one leaf and not growing as cools can nag away until plants die off leaving gaps in the field. Very irritating.

Hope your barley recovers.
 

fudge

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire.
Continuous Wheat - no slugs; baled - no slugs; no insecticide for 3 years.

That's why I'm asking.

The only thing favouring slugs is the FYM and compost mix that was applied in crop in April this year. EDIT, but that was on the field only moderately affected.
The avatar drill cannot possibly firm the seedbed in the same way as a rapid. It’s just not heavy enough for your soil type IMO. It’s ok for no tillers to ramble on about rotation but I’m not moving further away from second wheat and OSR under current market conditions.
 

snarling bee

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Bedfordshire
Drill earlier
It was a demo, so my hands were tied on the date, but the surrounding crop was drilled the next day.
I don't think mid October is a bad time to drill, and most years the drilling season will end up at least at that date if we are going to use drilling date as a means to control blackgrass and BYDV, especially when IPM is being encouraged. I'm not sure that drilling earlier is a IPM method to control slugs.
If we are going to be using cover crops in the future then slug pressure is going to get even worse I would imagine.
 

Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
The avatar drill cannot possibly firm the seedbed in the same way as a rapid. It’s just not heavy enough for your soil type IMO. It’s ok for no tillers to ramble on about rotation but I’m not moving further away from second wheat and OSR under current market conditions.

what coulter pressure can a rapid achieve ? would be surprised if its as high as a Avatar / 750a etc ?
 

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
It was a demo, so my hands were tied on the date, but the surrounding crop was drilled the next day.
I don't think mid October is a bad time to drill, and most years the drilling season will end up at least at that date if we are going to use drilling date as a means to control blackgrass and BYDV, especially when IPM is being encouraged. I'm not sure that drilling earlier is a IPM method to control slugs.
If we are going to be using cover crops in the future then slug pressure is going to get even worse I would imagine.
Slug pressure less with a cover, they eat the dying cover. Our worst slug pressure is bare areas (just don’t use brassica covers). Drill earlier in no till to get plants away, you haven’t mineralised a whole load of nitrogen by cultivating. And until you get a good few years in nutrients aren’t naturally cycling.
The ‘IPM’ currently being pushed as good practice is in relation to our traditional agronomic and tillage systems, it’s not really relevant to what is happening on farm with people leading this kind of thing (not me I may hasten to add I’ve just learnt and copied others).
 

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
Roll it afterwards.

It may well have been just a weird result that was entirely random, don't write off a drill on the back of a single back experience in one season.
Pretty standard thing to happen. ‘No till doesn’t work’ after one attempt just elongating the act of tillage as opposed to looking further into the agronomics, because there is a lot of things different and that’s the hard part.
 
Pretty standard thing to happen. ‘No till doesn’t work’ after one attempt just elongating the act of tillage as opposed to looking further into the agronomics, because there is a lot of things different and that’s the hard part.

I do not have experience of all the true no-till drills in the marketplace but I do have experience of several. Irrespective of soil type or the design of the drill I do think they all want a pass with the rolls afterwards. Every arable farm should have a 12m set and smallish tractor to drag them around. If you fitted some harrows to the front of them you could even use them as a scratch to get the weeds to chit after the combine is gone.
 

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
I do not have experience of all the true no-till drills in the marketplace but I do have experience of several. Irrespective of soil type or the design of the drill I do think they all want a pass with the rolls afterwards. Every arable farm should have a 12m set and smallish tractor to drag them around. If you fitted some harrows to the front of them you could even use them as a scratch to get the weeds to chit after the combine is gone.
Agree generally. I wasn’t aiming comment at you by the way but I’ve seen it so many times, attempts at no till which just don’t work so they throw the whole thing out the window when a ten minute conversation with someone local doing it could have made a huge difference
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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