Farming, of all kinds, is my passion. I started my career at Seale-Hayne Agricultural College in Devon, and have managed farmland, crops and livestock ever since. I am now the Farms Manager at Overbury. I am fanatical about the education of everybody about, growing great crops, farming, food production, using technology, conservation and rural life. Love life, love the countryside and don't forget where your food comes from...ever! 2013 Nuffield Farming Scholar
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
We have now started to plant (or drill) the seeds for next years crops. We have started drilling on our highest ground on the top of Bredon Hill to try and get the young plants well established before the nights get colder and slows down their growth. One of the main risks to the young seedlings at this time of year and after oilseed rape, are slugs! There are some cultural control methods as practised using 'integrated farm management' such as rolling the soil surface to consolidate the soil. This makes it hard for the slugs to move around in the soil from plant to plant. In conjunction to rolling we might need to apply slug pellets. Before we spread the pellets on the field we have to see if there are enough slugs there to justify the application so we set some traps. I have selected the area of the field where there is slightly more trash (crop residue from the previous OSR as there are likely to be higher slug populations in the moist organic matter.
I raided the game keepers pheasant food bin and located some layers mash as my tasty lure for the unsuspecting slug headcount. After dishing out the free lunch I covered the mash with an insulated sheet, weighted it down with stones and left the scene. The sheet will keep the area of mash moist and dark, just the right habitat for the slugs to feed in. I will return in a couple of days for a headcount to see if there is justification in a application of pellets.