This is to help farmers comply with enhanced stewardship and the requirement for heightened protection to the environment, says Simon McMunn, spokesman for the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG).
Mr McMunn says: “One of the four key stewardship steps for this year’s campaign focuses on the role of IPM and growers must only use metaldehdye slug pellets as part of a wider slug control programme.
“What this means is that cultural control techniques, such as ploughing to bury surface trash, and rolling after drilling to create a firm fine seedbed, should be implemented to help reduce slug activity and reduce the requirement for chemical treatment.”
An integrated approach to slug control is more effective than relying solely on pellets and will help ensure maximum protection to water, birds and small mammals, he emphasises. Moreover, IPM can be an effective tool to boost crop productivity.
Many growers, with support from their advisers, are already implementing IPM on their farms so integrated slug control is already becoming common practice, he notes.
“The guide will be a key tool for growers throughout the year and if you have any further questions about IPM and slug control I would urge you to speak to your agronomist.”
Voluntary Initiative (VI) chairman Richard Butler says: “The VI is fully supportive of these new stewardship guidelines; it is crucial that farmers follow them to ensure the continued availability of this important active ingredient.
“The loss of metaldehyde slug pellets would present significant difficulties to UK agriculture, for example, a wet Autumn would pose a serious threat to crop establishment as it is unlikely that there would be enough ferric phosphate to meet demand.”
What’s in the guide?
→ Farm appraisals
→ Soil and stubble management
→ Planting methods
→ Record keeping
→ Monitoring and evaluation
→ Forward planning