how to deal with slugs in longterm best way?!

Discussion in 'Direct Drilling Crops & Agronomy' started by Rihards, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Rihards

    Rihards Member

    Hi all notiller adicted !

    I am curenly farming in strip till 4 season. all this time no particular problems with slugs in my farm. Crop rotation is spring beans , spring barley, winter rape, winter wheat. But in some cases crops fall out during winter time and here had been groved also Rye, buck wheat, mustard, spring rape.

    I am farming since 2005 and in my experience dont have so big fail like this osr 2018. autumn drilling. today drive through all 77ha drilled OSR from 07.08 till 10.08 and come to decision that I lost 29 ha. in all this fields brasica was sown 5 years ago, previous crop SBarley, WW, Sbeans. etc...

    OSR was drilled with Sumo DTS direct after combine and put in slot also 200kg npk 10-26-26. Unfortunatly it was busy harvest time and one breakdown with front tractor tyre.... we dont roll this fields after drilling:banghead:

    2 fields what we already lost is wery heavy clay soil and osr germinate wery well , to be honest where its not eaten by slugs...:(

    my main idea is not hurt all my life in my soil, thats main reason why I dont use slug palets in my farm at all , and before this case I dont feel that I need to use them ... until now...

    What is people experience here , how to deal in best way with slugs and dont affect earth worms for example....

    some pictures say more than words....

    Any advice welcome, as I belive in UK its big problem already in most part of country....

    Attached Files:

  2. RushesToo

    RushesToo Member

    Frogs and newts [amphibians] eat them and are good, normal glyphosate/roundup kills them. There is a friendly version but if you have little rain and no amphibians this may not be sensible.
    Beetles also eat them - if you have strong insecticides that kill everything you will kill these. Use chemicals that are specific to pests

    Choose your chemicals not buy what someone tells you.

    I have tried to use simple English, I hope you can understand it or google translate works well.
    Kiwi Pete and Farmer Roy like this.

    WOODCHIP Member

    Hi I’ve been using a DTS for 4 yrs now as well, i have to use slug pellets but i have reduced my usage to what i used in my first 2 yrs. i stubble rake after osr 4 times with 4/5 weeks apart this kills a lot of slugs eggs.
    Drilling prior to osr i stubble twice in front of the drill this helps a lot. Hope this helps as I don’t like using pellets either but sometimes you only need 1 dose .
  4. Adams1978

    Adams1978 New Member

    how many plants have you got left per m2, in good parts of the field and bad parts of the field? or is total wipe out?
    Only ask as we had a couple of fields with very low plant populations last year due to poor establishment, but it still made a reasonable crop.
  5. Use pellets if you need to. Don't be a martyr. No till and pellets is not worse than ploughing and no pellets for worms
    hendrebc and yellow belly like this.
  6. I've found encouraging the pheasants from the shoot next door onto a field helps quite a lot. But I'm a livestock farm with only one or two fields of cropping in amongst mostly all grass so it probably wouldnt work so well on a large scale.
    It didn't work with traditional cultivation though. The pheasants would use the field as a dust bath and cause a lot more damage than they helped if the crop wasn't fast growing
  7. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Roll or double press after the drill. Slugs don't move as easily in firm soil.

    Can you fit a slug pellet broadcaster to the back of your drill?
  8. Case290

    Case290 Member

    Does stubble raking reduce slugs to no problem or only help. My once disk then drill no good ,colossal amount of slugs, it's just luck they seam happy eating the dead rape volunteers.
  9. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    I believe that raking helps. If it is done early on a hot day it mechanically destroys eggs near the surface and brings the others up so they can dry out in the sun, making them unviable. Not the same as lots of cultivator steel, power harrows etc but a pass with a rake, well timed is worth at least half a pass of slug pellets.
    TelesnaAg and tw15 like this.
  10. 4course

    4course Member

    north yorks
    drastic ,but we stopped growing osr a few yrs ago . Now do not have a slug problem and the last 3/4 years have hardly used any pellets this year so far none, last year 1 bag and that was just because the agronomist was round hill tops on his quad ,was getting to the point we where having to use them everywhere and more than once . uneconomic not to mention the improvement and returns partly through fuller crops and improved establishment over the whole cereal acerage as against 15% osr dragging things down
    Brisel likes this.
  11. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Stopping growing brassicas is the best way of reducing slugs!
    yellow belly likes this.
  12. 4course

    4course Member

    north yorks
    but, interestly we dont have a problem following catch crops of mustard or forage rape but then they are not overwintered
    Brisel likes this.
  13. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    They don't seem to like mustard very much. A bit too spicy perhaps? I can't comment on forage rape as I don't grow it. IMO the clue is in the title - forage means grazed, so any slugs are going to get trodden on by hooves at some point. With osr you've got ground cover 12 months of the year with little mechanical or animal disturbance once sown.
  14. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    What I have learnt in 6 points below and in order of importance, There is no one single thing that will fix a slug issue, the solution here is a combination of ALL of the below

    1. Rotation - longer and more diverse the better to avoid the domination of any species slugs included, OSR no more than 1 in 6 personally
    2. Consolidation - lots of drills fail here and it is the worst thing about most strip till style DD's, no till is far superior in this respect to any other establishment system as you don't unconsolidate in the first place. Having ploughed, mintilled, strip tilled and now zero tilled consolidation is the big difference between all thoise systems and zero till the winner in a big way. If your drill is not consolidating well you need to roll (or even double roll)
    3. Speed - even if you have a slug problem if a crop can grow fast enough they are not an issue as it will grow away from them. Don't do stuff that slows down plant growth, avoid seed dressings, avoid pre ems (where you can). Drill early (autumn) late (spring) into warm moist soils, use seed bed fert where legal
    4. Residue management - focus hard on good, even spread of previous crop trash, cut long stubbles when possible
    5. IPM - understand that insecticides kill things that will kill your slugs, use them only if you have to and there is no other choice to avoid significant crop loss, you will be amazed how rarely they REALLY are needed. Understand that the more soil is disturbed the more you also harm those beneficial (so dont disturb them!) and that they also appreciate diversity in rotation. Plant margins and odd corners with pollen mixes to encourage the beneficials. They are your friends !! Stop using Meta, Use Ferric, yes it costs more but its better and kinder / less polluting and I have met a lot of people who swear it has worked where meta has been failing for years
    6. Sulphur - slugs seem to hate it, get some in the seed bed when you can either with seedbed N, sewage sludge, tiger 90 etc, FYM's and slurry, AD waste they all seem to help with slug pressure, if all else fails and you have a big issue a night time spray of 100l/ha of Ammonium Sulphate is like napalm !

    There is no silver bullet, slugs will always be present in crops (as they should be) it’s about managing them so they don't become dominant and therefore problematic. I have had terrible slug problem in the past and lost many crops to them but under our current zerotill system the problem really is very manageable and not really a "problem" as such at all
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
    Samcowman, Timbo1080, Rihards and 5 others like this.
  15. jonnyjon

    jonnyjon Member

    Totally agree , rotations are vital, Osr grown here with 1 fungicide at most, no insecticide, due to it rarely been grown. When I inquired about getting undressed seed I was told they wouldn't guarantee the germination ... the dogs on the street no that undressed seed germinates quicker. we are been sold a pup by the chemical industry
    britt, Clive and martian like this.
  16. Second all the above
    This year use slug pellet on newly planted rape and grass seeds

    Non on wheat

    If you have light enough land strip till will work but the heavier the land the
    Longer the gap you need between crops the further north you are the harder it gets for heavy land strip till more slug pellets can prevent crop loss nut at a cost
    chester likes this.
  17. As a side note, i spread blood and bone fert when seeding new lawn at house, the snails all started climbing house and fence getting out of there! Which made me think is there something were missing in types of fert fhat naturally stuffs them? I will have a play around next autumn.

    Marius likes this.

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