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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


We've been slimed -- Slugs impacting corn and soybean crops in Ohio

The mild and rainy planting season not only delayed getting our crops in, but also favored slug populations to thrive. We have been receiving many calls on slug damage, especially in cover crops that have just been killed. As the cover crop dies down, the slugs hang around and wait to feed on the emerging corn or soybean. At this point, heavily damaged fields may consider slug baits that contain metaldehyde or iron phosphate to prevent further feeding, although these control options are expensive and time is running out since the slugs are maturing into less damaging stages.

There has been some discussion on using 28% UAN to control slugs—getting adequate slug control with this tactic is extremely difficult, and also runs the risk of burning crop foliage. Hopefully, as our crops grow (and given the predicting heat and lack of precipitation in the forecast, it may be quick), they could be able to grow out of the damage. As long as the growing point has not been damaged, both corn and soybean could withstand some feeding without a significant loss in yield.

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.