Excessive levels of metaldehyde are already being detected in watercourses this autumn. This follows the wet and unsettled weather in July and August encouraging a late flush of weeds, which created ideal conditions for slugs.
There’s now concern further wet weather may cause excessive water run-off and the industry urges growers to follow best practice when applying molluscicides – particularly metaldehyde.
Run-off to watercourses is being caused by the extensive soil cracking after the long, dry spring, says Dr. Neal Evans, Operations Director at the Voluntary Initiative.
“Some water companies are reporting they have already detected metaldehyde in raw water at levels well in excess of the 0.1ppb limit.
“It is important to stress the need for careful, best practice when using pesticides, particularly metaldehyde, as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. Careful stewardship of metaldehyde will be key as this slug pellet treatment is phased out,” he adds.
More details on Integrated Pest Management and best practice is available from the VI website at www.voluntaryinitiative.org.uk and information on metaldehyde in particular at www.getpelletwise.co.uk.
It is also important to note the withdrawal dates for metaldehyde are currently:
31 March 2021: Deadline for the sale and distribution of metaldehyde slug pellets
31 March 2022: Deadline for the disposal, storage and use up of existing stocks
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