The mild winter, twinned with a season that’s so far been conducive to high slug numbers, was a key area for discussion on the Certis stand at Cereals 2014 this week. “Having had sufficient rainfall and no hard winter frost, there is a strong possibility of high slug pressure going into this autumn. If conditions remain conducive then it could be another 2012,” warned Certis’ Technical Officer, Nigel Riches. He noted that weather conditions will dictate the risk over the coming months, “If the weather continues to remain wet, combined with the current high slug populations, this pest could pose a serious threat to emerging crops and will demand a robust control programme. “It is important to plan ahead,” noted Nigel. He advised growers to seek agronomist advice to ensure sufficient stocks are secured, noting the current pressure on metaldehyde based slug pellets and the revocation of methiocarb. Sluxx and Derrex (containing ferric phosphate) offer growers a much needed alternative where pellet efficacy and strong environmental credentials are central to sustaining the pellet armoury.“Ferric phosphate has achieved a strong level of market confidence as a pellet option that delivers efficacy on a par with metaldehyde, and therefore offers growers a real choice.” To get growers and agronomists involved and aware of this important message, Certis took part in ‘Slug Trail’ alongside the De Sangosse and Water UK stands, offering the opportunity to earn CPD points. The ‘Slug Trail’ raised awareness of slug control options and responsible pelleting applications to help secure the future of a strong molluscicide armoury which is in everyone’s interest.