Oilseed rape is the third-largest source of vegetable oil, after soybean and palm oil. Around 65 million tonnes was produced worldwide in 2012.
Susceptibility to Slug Damage
Usually, it’s germinating oilseed rape seedling that prove particularly vulnerable to attack. There are rarely problems with seeds being attacked. Because oilseed rape has its growing points above ground, attack by slugs can completely destroy the young seedlings.
Species of Concern
The grey field slug, Deroceras reticulatum
, is the most common pest seen in cases of oilseed rape attack, although other species can also cause problems.
Symptoms of Attack
Young seedlings show clear evidence of grazing by slugs. Cotyledons and first leaves are most at risk. In severe cases areas of the field will be bare from slug grazing.
Use trapping methods to assess populations and if thresholds are met, then broadcasting pellets immediately after drilling is likely to provide the best control.
An even distribution is important to ensure slugs come into contact with pellets as soon as possible. Calibrate your equipment carefully.
Following application, continue to monitor crops throughout the critical early stage, when they’re most susceptible.