Plans for SLIMERS initiative to be revealed at webinar on 15 August, with recruitment already underway for up to 30 ‘Slug Sleuths’
A farmer-led Defra-funded initiative to improve slug control and reduce reliance on chemical control gets underway in August.
Plans for SLIMERS (Strategies Leading to Improved Management and Enhanced Resilience Against Slugs) will be revealed at a webinar on 15 August at 8.30am where details will be shared on how to get involved.
Recruitment is already underway for up to 30 ‘Slug Sleuths’ – farmers and agronomists who will be paid to carry out intensive slug-monitoring work this autumn as part of trials on their farm.
At the webinar, the project’s technical lead, Dr Jenna Ross OBE from UK Agri-Tech Innovation Centre, Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) will give an overview of the ground-breaking project and the solutions that farmers will be putting to the test.
Professor Keith Walters from Harper Adams University will summarise plans for the first year’s trials and explain how farmer involvement will be integral to progressing science and bringing new understanding to slug control.
A brand-new discussion platform and knowledge hub will be previewed by project lead Tom Allen-Stevens of the British On-Farm Innovation Network (BOFIN). He will outline payments for the Slug Sleuths and how members of the Slug Circle can accrue value from their involvement in the project.
Farmers already involved in on-farm trials in which they have been paid to monitor slugs will join the webinar to share their experiences and ideas that could revolutionise slug control.
“Knowledge has value, and farmer-led knowledge is among the most valuable there is,” said Allen-Stevens. “It is ludicrous that farmers rely entirely on just one form of chemical control for slugs – blanket treatments of ferric phosphate pellets – when our knowledge, combined with the latest science, has many other solutions that could come into play.
The webinar on 15 August is free to attend with no obligation. Everyone who registers will receive a link to the recording, so they can fit it in around a busy harvesting schedule, and they are encouraged to put forward questions and ideas that the panellists will address.
More information about the project, including links to project partners and research initiatives that underpin the project can be found at slimers.co.uk.