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Integrated control of slugs in arable crops - LK0925

The project will assess the importance of factors influencing the risks of slug damage to improve the precision and success of molluscicides in controlling damage. The project will assess the utility of population models as components in a system for predicting slug damage. This will also include the influences of cultural conditions and weather on slug activity and on crop growth, as these are known to have important impacts on the severity of slug damage in winter cereals and oilseed rape. Accuracy in assessing slug numbers has been a key weakness of previous prediction systems. However, the recent development of a biochemical technique for detecting slugs in soil (Symondson, unpublished) and electronic technologies for slug detection (C. Conway, unpublished) could provide opportunities to increase accuracy. Improvements in prediction of the severity of slug damage will be most valuable if combined with investigations to increase understanding of the influences of weather, agronomic and ecological factors on the field efficacy of molluscicide treatments.
The primary objectives are:
1. Quantify the interrelationships between slug populations and key environmental factors such as soil, weather and agronomic conditions, including the timing and method of pellet application, and control efficacy.
2. Quantify relationships between slug populations and conditions in the previous crop to evaluate their use as a damage indicator in the succeeding crop.
3. Develop a reliable predictor of crop damage based on these relationships.
4. Predict the need for and timing of slug pellets as part of an integrated control strategy, whilst reducing unnecessary use.
Project Documents
• Abstract : LK0925 Integrated contolr of slugs in arable farms Abstract   (13k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2005

Cost: £273,126
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Crop Tech, Rothamsted Research (BBSRC), LONZA Biologics Ltd, ADAS UK Ltd., Bayer UK Ltd, University - Newcastle, Godfrey Farms, Home Grown Cereals Authority, De Sangosse UK
Arable Farming              
LINK Programme              
Natural Resource Use              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study
Arable Crops