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Western Victorian crops slayed by rain-induced spike in slugs

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Western Victorian crops slayed by rain-induced spike in slugs

Farmers in western Victoria are experiencing one in every of the worst slug infestations they’ve considered in years.

Key points:

  • Slug populations exclaim in western Victoria as a consequence of heavy summer season rains
  • The pests are eating and destroying crops, including canola 
  • Farmers are having to resow their crops this season or enable paddocks to lie fallow

George Coutts is a farmer in Mininera, south of Ararat, and has needed to bait his paddocks three instances this season and resow some of his canola crops.

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He acknowledged heavy summer season rains all the plan by the role had increased slug populations.

‘Big slug stress’

“Any paddocks that we did no longer till or burn, we had vast [slug] stress,” Mr Coutts acknowledged.

“We needed to bait most paddocks three instances but some paddocks four instances, and one of the most canola I haven’t even afflicted resowing, reason I resowed it and it factual bought eaten again.”

Mr Coutts acknowledged he had experienced considerations with slugs in the past, but had by no capability considered such enormous numbers.

“Or no longer it’s factual annoying. I will factual should be extra vigilant moving forward.”

‘The excellent storm’

Gorst Rural Gives agronomist Rhys Cottam-Starkey acknowledged the wet stipulations this past spring and summer season had created the sincere storm for slug numbers, and he’s considered standard gash pain all the plan by the role.

Mr Cottam-Starkey acknowledged the most important indicators of gash pain from slugs became shrimp bite marks in newly emerged seedlings.

“When the gash first comes out of the bottom, it be clearly the most serene and any pain to this can reason extra well-known pain afterward,” he acknowledged.

“The canola seed is so tiny when it comes out of the bottom [that] it would no longer have any strength reserves, so any pain to the leaf will very much lower the volume of photosynthesis that the plant can undertake.

“Any resowing is continuously frustrating since it messes up the timing of the gash.”

Baiting a bother

Mr Cottam-Starkey has been encouraging farmers to bait their paddocks but, he acknowledged, it became a bother since it became much less efficient in chilly, wet weather.

“So timing of the bait may perhaps perhaps per chance perhaps be the most severe segment,” he acknowledged.

“When it turns into chilly and wet, the bait turns into much less efficient. 

“We have needed to counteract that and originate certain we’re restful baiting on the factual time and no longer feeding the mice slug bait.”

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Western Victorian crops slayed by rain-induced spike in slugs