To test for the right amount of down pressure, grab hold of the gauge wheel and try to spin it when the planter is in the down position in the field, says Bill Lehmkuhl. If it spins freely, you need more down pressure. If it wonâ??t spin at all, you need less pressure, says the veteran no-tiller from Minster, Ohio. With some effort you should be able to spin the wheel 4 inches with one hand.

Clover And Nightcrawlers Boost Corn And Soybeans

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.

Natural Ingredients

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.

Pellet Formulation

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…

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Ross ron

Ron Ross

Ron Ross pioneered the “What I’ve Learned from No-Tilling” series that has appeared in every issue of No-Till Farmer since August of 2002. He authored more than 100 of these articles.

A graduate of South Dakota State University’s agricultural journalism program, Ross spent most of his career as a writer and editor.

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