With the 1 August marking the start of the 2012 autumn metaldehyde slug pellet restriction period, the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG) is reminding growers of the application guidelines in place this autumn, and urging of the need for diligent, unified action as applications get underway, to ensure metaldehyde is kept out of surface waters.
The autumn restriction period for metaldehyde applications (beginning 1 August), now in place until 31 December, permits a maximum total application rate of 210g/ha of the active ingredient, which may be reduced to 160g/ha or less upon the recommendation of a supplier or BASIS qualified advisor. At 160g/ha this means no more than 4kg/ha of a 4% product, 5kg/ha of a 3% or 10kg of a 1.5%.
A maximum total application rate of 700g a.s. metaldehyde/ha per calendar year, a statutory requirement, should also be observed, as should a 6 metre no spread zone beside watercourses.
With recent extreme wet weather having heightened the slug risk to crops, growers must ensure careful, best use of their metaldehyde quota as planting of autumn cereals gets underway. With a limit per calendar year rather than per crop, growers could soon find they reach and exceed advised limits due to high slug activity seen so far this summer.
Keeping within the stewardship guidelines, ensuring no more metaldehyde than necessary is being applied, and adopting best practice measures will be vital this season to ensure the protection of water and to see metaldehyde retained as a crop protection tool in the armoury. In particular the potential drainage and run off losses are important to avoid, which could occur under the current unsettled weather conditions.
The MSG is keen to highlight that the threat to the future of this important active ingredient has far from gone away. There is a clear need to demonstrate that the stewardship measures work and that metaldehyde can be kept out of water, even more so in this wet, high pressure season.
Contact the MSG enquiry line on 0845 1770117 or email@example.com to request the latest booklet and machinery settings poster.
Metaldehyde Stewardship Best Practice