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Although it has been available for several years, an often-overlooked, environ- mentally friendly slug-control product is gaining popularity in the United States and could provide an alternative to metaldehyde- based products for no-tillers.
Sluggo is designed for use against slugs and snails. The manufacturer, Omex Agri- culture, describes the product as revolu- tionary because of its environmental traits, noting that it is non-hazardous, certified as organic in Europe and requires no interval between application and harvest.
“Sluggo combines efficacy with safety to non-target organisms and represents a major step forward in pesticide design and manu- facture,” according to Omex.
The active ingredient is ferric phosphate, which occurs naturally in the soil. Ferric phosphate is approved for organic farming under the laws of the European Union. Omex is based in the United Kingdom and operates a manufacturing plant in Canada.
Omex has applied for organic registra- tion of Sluggo by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and approval is expected within the next several months. The product was approved by the EPA in 1997.
Toxicological data indicate that Sluggo is completely harmless to wildlife when used as directed. Vertebrates, including birds, dogs and other large animals, and invertebrates such as earthworms, bees and other benefi- cial insects are not affected.
Sluggo also is harmless to fish and the aquatic environment.
Omex blends ferric phosphate into a cereal-based pellet to form a bait for slugs and snails. Any uneaten Sluggo is broken down by microorganisms in the soil…