Equipment/Technology, Europe, UK, Ireland, Pests and Diseases, Pressreleases, Production/Agronomy, Research, Smart Farming, Studies/Reports

Targeted treatment tactics for slugs

Targeted treatment of the most mollusc-riddled parts of a field has taken a step closer, thanks to an innovative research programme that tags and tracks grey field slug populations.

AHDB-funded PhD student Emily Forbes in the UK has been hot on the ‘slime trail’ of these major crop pests for the past three years. Based at Harper Adams University (HAU), she uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag technology, originally developed to track cattle, to monitor slug movement in commercial fields and explore options for more precise control.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags can be injected into slugs to monitor their movements in the soil.

Emily said: “Slugs need to shelter from the sun; it’s why they prefer to feed at night and shelter underground during the day. RFID tags reveal what slugs get up to, no matter where they hide.”

The tags, which are about the size of a grain of rice, were injected into slugs. To make sure tagging did not change the slugs’ behaviour, a laboratory experiment was set up to monitor their movements.

Video tracking found that the slugs’ routines did not change, compared with non-tagged slugs. This finding gave the green light for the approach to be used to record natural slug activity in the field.

The PhD focused on the distribution of slugs across a field. In particular, Emily looked to define what causes slug populations to develop in distinct patches. An RFID scanner, which operates in a similar way to a metal detector, was swept over the ground regularly to map the whereabouts of tagged slugs.

AHDB says an integrated approach to slug control, based on several techniques, is the most effective way to control slugs. Visit the AHDB dedicated web page for information on the management of this pest in field crops.

You can read the full report on Emily’s work on the AHDB website here

Stockosorb 660 from Eco+

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

[email protected]
[email protected]
Connect with me on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter
Visit Potato News Today on Facebook
Find us on Tumblr
About us

Kindly support our Advertisers – they make all of this possible…

SoilEssentials – TuberZone

Tolsma

Tomra Food

Parkland

Haith

Volm Companies

Greentronics

Receive breaking potato news in your inbox

Folks, you are most welcome to share your email address with us if you wish to receive an email as soon as we publish a breaking news item on Potato News Today.

Join 1,884 other subscribers

Follow PNT on Twitter

Most read stories the past 24 hours

The passing of potato specialist, Warren Henninger
A lesson in compassion: In Georgia, women potato farmers show solidarity and empathy amid COVID-19
The Canadian way: Generous Alberta potato farmer donated seed potatoes to communities in the far North
Could the global loss of food service pressure the UK's potato processing market?
It was said: Quotes worth remembering
Potato protest in Australia highlights the possible dumping of cheap European spuds
Utz Quality Foods becomes Utz Brands; to go public
Canadian potatoes are spoiling due to slow federal government response, says grower association
Threat of cheap imports: Ballarat workers rally for local potato processing jobs
The global impact of coronavirus on potato production: Examples and lessons learnt

Archive of monthly posts

Folks, thank you for visiting us! Stats below…

  • 613,044