Home > Metarex slug bait from AgNova Technologies controls slug in emerging crops

Metarex slug bait from AgNova Technologies controls slug in emerging crops

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article image Slugs are silent killers that can wreak havoc in emerging crops

A premium slug bait available from AgNova Technologies  is being used by Australian farmers to control the growth and spread of slugs among crops.

Originally developed for wet European conditions, Metarex slug bait is being successfully used by growers in Victoria and Tasmania, employing the same technique of mixing the bait with the seed and sowing it in a single pass.

Slugs are silent killers that can wreak havoc in emerging crops and are very difficult to detect until it’s too late. Growers need to be vigilant by constantly monitoring early in the season, followed by a well-planned baiting strategy.

Slugs typically feed on newly emerging crops and pastures, quickly decimating young seedlings especially in canola and pasture. Monitoring regularly allows slugs to be detected early in the season, before they start feeding and damaging emerging crops.

Since slugs venture out at night, a good way to monitor them is to place terracotta tiles on moist soil as a refuge. Checking under the tiles after a few days, about two to three hours after sunrise, will help one spot the slugs. Even 1-2 pest slugs per refuge can cause damage to canola, cereals and pasture seedlings. Once the crop has been seeded and germination commenced, control options are limited to baiting.

According to Mr Darren Thomas, sales and marketing manager at AgNova Technologies, Metarex is the latest bait technology from Europe, which gives growers more flexibility with application.

Metarex slug bait has superior rain-fast qualities and a small, consistent pellet size that allows accurate placement when spread on the surface to control slugs. Metarex slug bait also has a high protein content that attracts the slugs.

When mixed with seed prior to sowing, the slug baits are in close proximity to the seed and protect the crop from early damage, reducing risk and providing a level of insurance.

Most modern air seeders can be used to apply Metarex either down the tube with the canola/cereal seed or through the small seed box to scatter plates at the rear of the machine.

Metarex’s unique formulation is resistant to shattering, which means that more baits reach the ground when applied using spinner-type spreaders. With approximately 60,000 baits per kilogram, Metarex has a highly consistent size and a higher number of bait points among slug baits containing 50g/kg of metaldehyde.

A combination of Metarex with the seed plus broadcast application over the surface is highly effective against a slug infestation. AgNova recommends a bait rate of 5-8 kg/ha for cereals, oilseeds and pulses.

It is important to ensure the active ingredient is delivered where and when it is needed to maximise slug control and reduce crop damage with slugs receiving a lethal dose on their first feed.

Growers must continue to monitor crops during the growing season, particularly in the first six weeks after sowing. The silent killers may creep in again, requiring baits to be reapplied if slug numbers and crop damage remain high.

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