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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Battle for the Belt: Episode 4

Episode 4 of Battle for the Belt is now available:

In Episode 4, Dr. Kelley Tilmon, Field Crop Entomologist, discusses the effect of planting date on slugs as well as some management tactics that can help to alleviate this concern.

The Battle for the Belt project aims to look at five planting date windows, from ultra-early (late March/early April) to very late (mid to late June). Slugs can be a problem in both corn and soybean, but tend to cause more problems in soybean. A particular problem is leaving the planting trench open. This open trench can act as a slug ‘buffet line’, even eating the seeds. Other situations where slugs are found include no-till systems and fields with cover crops.

The trick to avoid slugs? Get your plants growing ahead of the slugs. Slugs will be there, but if the plants have a head start, the feeding damage will not be as destructive. When we plant soybeans really early, it can take plants several weeks to emerge, leaving them vulnerable to slug damage. In corn, slugs can cause damage to leaves, but the growing point is still below the ground and protected. Thus, through the lens of risk damage from slugs, prioritizing corn planting over soybean planting is important in field situations where slug damage may be expected (no-till systems, cover crops, early planting with cool/wet soils). A recommendation is to make sure that the planting trench is being properly closed at planting and adjusting as needed. 

Keep following ‘Battle for the Belt’ this growing season to learn more and get further updates! You can find the full video playlist of Battle for the Belt on the Ohio State Agronomy YouTube channel.

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.