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Wet conditions in some regions have favoured continued slug activity and damage to crops. Agronomist, Cam Conboy (Gorst Rural), has reported brown field slugs (Deroceras invadens) and black keeled slugs (Milax gagates) continuing to cause issues, particularly in minimum or no-tillage paddocks with high stubble loads, around Lake Bolac, in the Western district of Victoria. Paddocks that were not grazed over summer and early autumn appear to be worst affected. Cam said that while baiting has worked, it was clear that better control was achieved in paddocks baited immediately after sowing than paddocks baited after crop emergence. Many growers around Lake Bolac have applied at least 1 or 2 baits this season to protect canola crops, whilst some have been forced to apply 4 baits to control high slug populations.

Farmer, Doug Chamberlain, has reported slugs causing feeding damage to canola near Kerang, in the Mallee district of Victoria. Doug said this was the first time on his property he has found slugs. The slugs appear to be moving into the crop from the main water channel in wet irrigation bays.

For further information about slugs, refer to PestFacts Issue No. 1.

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