TDS: the pellet with lasting performance
(active substance: metaldehyde)
Some growers have found that the wet weather of recent years has made achieving effective slug control more difficult than it needs to be. Others simply use TDS.
Slug control doesn’t need to be difficult, but it does require planning. When crops are decimated it is often too late to apply pellets. But in many cases such disasters can be avoided. Applying TDS – recognised as the industry wet process standard – immediately after rolling in cereals or at 75% canopy complete and again at tuber initiation in potatoes will typically give the crop sufficient protection to see it past the critical stage.
But effective control also requires an appreciation of how the pest interacts with the bait and the factors that influence pellet performance; primarily palatability, persistency and spreadibility.
Slug pellets are the only pesticide used in agriculture that relies on the pest to locate the active substance. But once located, it has to ingest sufficient quantity of the bait to cause death. This underlines the importance of palatability. TDS is manufactured using an advanced wet process procedure that utilises durum wheat flour of the highest quality. Slugs are fussy eaters so the bait has to be good quality.
Having to make a second application is an annoyance most growers would prefer to avoid so it makes good sense to use a pellet with class-leading scores for field persistency. TDS fills that requirement. At 5kgs it delivers over 30 pellets per square metre, widely considered by most experts to be sufficient to deliver effective control. It also has the size to endure rain that would mean the end for lesser types.
The importance of size
Spreadibility – the consistency by which the pellet is spread evenly across the target area – is a combination of pellet mass and the manufacturing process used. At 2.5mm in length each pellet has the mass needed to fly in a consistent arc through the air, even in light winds. Its uniformity and smooth surface produced by the advanced wet process production method and high quality durum wheat flour contribute to this consistent spread pattern.
As with most things in life, size is an important factor in determining performance. As soon as the pellet is released into the environment mother nature sets to work against it. Wind, rain and fluctuations in temperature all work to erode the pellet, yet it must retain its mass long enough to protect the crop against these pressures. But to have adequate mass you need to have sufficient size. Pellets of less than 2.5mm simply don’t have the mass needed to persist in the environment or ensure that the pest ingests sufficient bait to cause death.
Growers should not be misled by the argument that effective control is a matter of baiting points. Slugs are discriminate eaters and it is the quality of the bait that is important, principally its palatability. But effective control is not achievable without lasting field persistence and consistent spreadibility and these attributes require pellets to have sufficient size and mass.
Choose TDS because SIZE MATTERS.