Metaldehyde: Advice for autumn crops
The Environment Agency is calling on growers to think “slope, soil and stream” when they apply metaldehyde based slug pellets to crops this autumn, saying it is important growers adhere to the current guidelines to avoid contaminating watercourses and protect drinking water supplies.
Metaldehyde is the pesticide that most often causes risks to drinking water sources, especially in the autumn and the Agency wants farmers to take into consideration:
- The slope of the field. Steeper fields are a higher risk.
- The drainage status of the field. Heavy soils and under-draining are a high risk.
- The proximity of watercourses or ditches. Fields adjacent to these are high risk.
- The current and predicted weather. Saturated soils and heavy rain can cause a high risk of runoff.
- The filling and wash down area of the pellet applicator. Areas which run off to drains or watercourses will have a high risk of pollution.