Slugs Love Aerial-Applied Wheat — See For Yourself

Wheat kernels left on the soil surface are vulnerable to slug feeding. Photo credit: Tim Meulensteen

If you had winter wheat aerial-applied or broadcast on in September, you may want to get out there and look at what you’ve got.

Reports of major slug damage are trickling in, with some fields reporting as high as 95% damage to wheat kernels left on the soil surface.

Photo credit: Tim Meulensteen

Photo credit: Tim Meulensteen

As Peter Johnson, provincial cereal specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, explained in this Wheat School episode posted earlier this month, slugs will forage on seeds left on the surface and eat the germ right out of the seed.

Tim Meulensteen, with C&M Seeds, sent in these images below showing exactly that type of feeding. He’s now scouted several fields with the damage ranging from 30% to 95%, with slugs showing no preference for variety or whether or not seed was treated. Of the six fields scouted, he says that only one will likely end up as viable for the 2015 growing season.

“Anyone who tried this will definitely want to reassess their stand if they haven’t already,” Meulensteen says, in an email.


Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey Smith is a field editor for RealAgriculture. A self-proclaimed agnerd, Lyndsey is passionate about all things farming but is especially thrilled by agronomy and livestock production.


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