A slimy seedling stealer

In Central Otago, slugs attacked 45 hectares of high-value SovGold Ultrastrike-treated kale seedlings.

In Solutions2 Minutes

Slugs, Gerard McCarthy reckons, are an underestimated pest.

Fortunately, the experienced technical field representative at PGG Wrightson in Cromwell, South Otago, was on hand when trouble struck.

In Central Otago, 45 hectares of high-value SovGold Ultrastrike-treated kale seedlings were attacked. With average yields of about 10-14 tonnes drymatter (DM)/ha, and suitable for both cattle and sheep grazing, it was a crop the farmer was keen to protect.

Solution? Ironmax Pro molluscicide, from UPL NZ, was spread by helicopter at 6kg/ha.

Gerard says it made an extremely good job and supported the crop getting well established. “The client rang me three days later. They saw an almost instant result.”

Manufactured by French company DeSangosse, global leader in molluscicides, Ironmax Pro is as effective as sister product, industry leader, Metarex Inov. But with serious environmental chops.

UPL NZ regional sales manager Upper North Island Pieter Van Der Westhuizen says organic accreditation means a lot.

“There’s demand for products safer for the environment without compromising efficacy. Grey field slugs have the potential to wipe out crops. They cause damage across a range of plants and are tough on seedlings. You really need to look for slugs. Monitor and measure!”

Pieter advises using a slug mat or damp hessian sack. “Leave it overnight and check next morning. Even one slug may signal a problem.” Slugs can produce 300 eggs in their 13-month lifespan.

Attractive to slugs due to Colzactive (an attractant made of rape seed extracts) Ironmax Pro’s optimised active, 24.2g/kg ferric phosphate anhydrous, is a natural component of soil. In Ironmax Pro, it works as a stomach poison – impacting vital organs and is fatal to slugs and snails.

For more visit www.upl-ltd.com