Getting the Most From AXCELA®

Summary

AXCELA® slug pellets are best used to protect the crop as part of a slug control programme. Where risk levels indicate that pellet application is required, apply AXCELA® pellets responsibly and according to the label for best results. 

  • Compile your own slug control programme using cultural control methods where appropriate monitor slug activity and use bait traps to establish the need for pellet application
  • Carefully calibrate application equipment for optimum baiting points
  • Consider the timing of applications to protect crops through vulnerable stages
  • Follow the label to maximise protection and minimise environmental impact

 

More Baiting Points Kill More Slugs

At the recommended application rate of 7kg/ha there will be 60 baiting points per square metre – sufficient to ensure that 80% of slugs in any given field should encounter at least one AXCELA® pellet within 1.5 hours of application (Bieri et al, 1990).

 

slug-mortality-graph

 

In More Detail

Effective slug control during establishment needs good monitoring. Stay on top of the situation, be aware of what’s going on, understand how weather patterns could influence population dynamics, and always use pellets responsibly in an integrated pest control programme.

Your slug control programme should consider the following cultural controls:

  • Prepare a fine seedbed with a firm tilth – slugs do not burrow through the ground, but follow cracks or openings in the soil
  • Avoid sowing slug-susceptible crops after leafy crops such as oilseed rape that can carry high slug populations, especially in wet seasons
  • Remove straw and other harvest remains, or incorporate them deeply into the soil
  • Plough or cultivate when weather and soil are dry
  • Mineral, light and other drier soils generally carry lower slug populations than heavier soils
  • Irrigation favours slugs
  • Cultivations bring slug eggs to the surface and dry them out
  • Control of volunteers removes food sources

 

An authoritative HGCA study recommends assessment of slug population risk in the autumn followed by continued monitoring of the field pre- emergence and in the early stages of growth:

Baiting and trapping is the most effective method of assessing slug population risk. DON’T bait with slug pellets; DO remember the threshold values (four for wheat, one for OSR)

Slugs are surface feeders, mainly at night, so inspect fields for them at dusk or dawn.

Continue looking for damage and/or slug populations, using test baiting, before making further applications.

 

Maximise Cover Periods and Efficacy by Timing Applications Carefully

  • Broadcast pellets after drilling or seed emergence in cereals, oilseed rape and sugar beet, and at first signs of slug activity in potatoes
  • Best results are achieved by application during mild damp weather when slugs are most active
  • Do not apply pellets when rain is expected 

Follow-up applications may be required, for example in a wet season or where slug pressures are particularly high.

 

For Optimum Baiting Points and Maximum Performance, Calibrate Application Equipment Carefully

  • Set your application equipment to apply the chosen dose accurately
  • Check calibration charts for popular spreaders
  • Always follow the label to maximise protection and minimise environmental impact: Do not apply more than 21kg/ha per crop in total. This is equivalent to 700g metaldehyde per ha, the legal maximum.