Did Seed dressings kill slug eating Beetles?

Banana Bar

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
I’ve finally started to question the usefulness of slug pellets. When using metaldehyde it is often very satisfying seeing lots of dead slugs on the surface, how many chomp away merrily below the surface? My guess is many more than we could ever hope to control. I purposely haven’t applied pellets to any of my wheat following OSR this year and despite wet weather and no rolling I can see no real issue with the above.

BB
 
I’ve finally started to question the usefulness of slug pellets. When using metaldehyde it is often very satisfying seeing lots of dead slugs on the surface, how many chomp away merrily below the surface? My guess is many more than we could ever hope to control. I purposely haven’t applied pellets to any of my wheat following OSR this year and despite wet weather and no rolling I can see no real issue with the above.

BB
Neither have I, but the slugs are eating the barley (previous crop was wheat).
 

Banana Bar

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
I’ve finally started to question the usefulness of slug pellets. When using metaldehyde it is often very satisfying seeing lots of dead slugs on the surface, how many chomp away merrily below the surface? My guess is many more than we could ever hope to control. I purposely haven’t applied pellets to any of my wheat following OSR this year and despite wet weather and no rolling I can see no real issue with the above.

BB

Following on from this. I’ve lost 15 ha of wheat to slugs. 2 applications of metaldehyde was too little too late. They literally took every seed.
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Following on from this. I’ve lost 15 ha of wheat to slugs. 2 applications of metaldehyde was too little too late. They literally took every seed.

Several part fields redrilled up here in south lincs - or will be patched up come spring. Following rape, beans and vining peas. Similar whether cultivated or direct drilled. Usual patches.
 

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
North Yorkshire
I'm still chasing slugs up here in December! So much for intensive cultivations killing them.

In answer to the OP, there must have been some effect from Deter. I've seen more activity where I've used seed not neonic dressed to finish off a field. I went to a talk by Dave Goulson (him of the bees neonic fame) where he posted up data showing reduced soil life where neonic seed dressings were repeatedly used. Of course he had an agenda but some of the points and evidence did make me think harder.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Noticing lots more ground Beetls since I’ve stopped using seed dressings. Any one else noticed this
They can eat up to 10 slugs a day. Y have we be lead down this path of seed dressings / slug pellets at all.

since I stopped using seed dressings and insecticides ( like a decade now). I don’t seem to need them any more, coincidence ? This year is the first I have not needed a single slug pellet either

im sure the way we have been farming in the past was having much further reaching effects that we realised, I’m not sure we have ever been told ( or understood) the fuller picture
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Are you still growing oilseed rape, @Clive ?

for the first time this year no, I doubt that’s having any effect yet though really, in fact its reduced our diversity a bit if anything

I think maybe a combination of more diverse rotation and no insecticide / seed treatment use with cover crops, more surface residue and much reduced soil movement has helped build beneficial habits and therefore their numbers

of all those things I would rank the diversity of rotation as number 1, it’s cost me in reduced rotational gross margin but I’ve saved in fixed costs to counter that reduction


im almost past caring about the “why“ now or telling others about it, all that matters is it’s working for us
 
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People who believe slug damage is a myth are more than welcome to view my extensive collection of crop photos where the evidence is plain for all to see. If I had a quid for every time I saw slug damage in a crop, I'd be minted. It is often random according to the crop, soil type, date and season with no discernible pattern.

In 2012 I spent the autumn chasing the fudging things out of cereal and grass crops alike, often well into October/November. It can be a nightmare. I had one field I had to pellet 3 times and the third time I used draza (now banned) which finally sorted the issue and the crop came away ok.

A cold wet autumn and the odds begin to stack against you. I have not ever claimed deter did anything for slugs, in my experience they will hollow that seed as soon as anything else. In fact, undressed seed may be preferable because it springs out of the ground faster.
 
Imho
slugs area culitivation and consolidation issue

when we used tines disc and rolls before the power Harrow never needed slug pellets
my fathers mantra was if the seedbed was not fine enough cultivate it some more
but most of all drill early into a fine firm seedbed

now with notill just do not see enough damage
generally no seed dressing since 2003 on home saved seed 2012 because of fusarium dressed seed but only used half of it

now would not dress home saved seed just drill early

early drilling also give earlier harvest an extra weeks time at harvest is a valuable commodity
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
We haven't used slug pellets for yrs , I'm not sure what's changed because I have in the past :unsure:

Mind you there is a lot, repeat a lot of damage now being done by rabbits :sick: and i really wish there was a beetle that ate them....:sneaky:
 

CJS

Member
We haven't used slug pellets for yrs , I'm not sure what's changed because I have in the past :unsure:

Mind you there is a lot, repeat a lot of damage now being done by rabbits :sick: and i really wish there was a beetle that ate them....:sneaky:

Be careful it’s rabbits and not slugs We kept going to shoot the rabbits but all we saw was a massive slug population 3 applications later the wheat is slowly recovering This is on a really light soil which had never had a slug pellet on before The heavier part of the field was untouched by slugs All was drilled straight into stubble with a Claydon
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Be careful it’s rabbits and not slugs We kept going to shoot the rabbits but all we saw was a massive slug population 3 applications later the wheat is slowly recovering This is on a really light soil which had never had a slug pellet on before The heavier part of the field was untouched by slugs All was drilled straight into stubble with a Claydon
Well they are eating it from the top down so them slugs must have long legs:)
 

Lincsman

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
since I stopped using seed dressings and insecticides ( like a decade now). I don’t seem to need them any more, coincidence ? This year is the first I have not needed a single slug pellet either

im sure the way we have been farming in the past was having much further reaching effects that we realised, I’m not sure we have ever been told ( or understood) the fuller picture
I am old enough to remember 15 years of farming before OSR, didnt need slug pellets then... if there were such things?
 

Speculative coverage on the gene editing consultation response

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Speculative coverage on the gene editing consultation response

Written by Defra Press Office

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There has been coverage today in the I and the Guardian, reporting on speculation around the upcoming government response to the recent Gene Editing consultation, which closed on 17th March.

A full government response, which will include a thorough analysis and summary of the responses to the consultation and which will set out our next steps, will be published in due course.

Gene editing has the ability to harness the genetic resources that mother nature has provided, such as breeding...
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