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The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers.
Visit your local county extension office.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Slugs in Field Crops

The occurence of slugs in no-till fields has been increasing over the years. I have dealt with several growers over the years who have had to replant soybean and corn fields due to slugs. The topic was again brought to my attention again today. While running an ipm training class last week I was easily able to find several slugs under some chickweed in a field. Though slug problems continue to increase, there really has been no movement in the development of any new molluscicides. The treatment options generally consist of the use of metaldehyde baits. The use of concentrated liquid fertilizers and salt sprays are sometimes also reported. However, at concentrations to be highly effective they can be potentially highly phytotoxic to the plant. There are two good publications that address scouting and treatment options for slugs in field crops. One is an Ohio State Fact sheet on slugs, and the other is a extension publication produced by the University of Maryland on the Biology and Management of slugs in reduced tillage corn.  Both publications provide good information that could be useful when dealing with slugs.

Bill Bamka