Herbicide development hampered by shortage of finance for research

A lack of research funding is impeding the development of new herbicides to replace those being withdrawn, the British Crop Production Council's Annual Weed Review heard last week.

Rothamsted Research weed specialist Dr Peter Lutman said: "Only a very few substantial projects are now being carried out, funding is limited, there is no long-term strategy for projects and about 30 per cent is short-term work being done by PhD students. It is now time for us to consider how we get more strategic funding into weed research."

Among the bright spots, however, is the new SCEPTRE research project, according to ADAS research scientist Lynn Tatnell. "The aim is to fill the gap from the loss of actives, identify crop safe actives and develop sustainable integrated pest management systems," she said.

"Perennial weeds are particularly challenging to bio-herbicides," she added. "But from the pot trials, one or two products look very promising. We will extend the work into field trials next year with repeated applications and look at bacteria-based products and mixes."

Bayer CropScience herbicides development manager Dr Gordon Anderson-Taylor said: "Despite the various regulatory challenges, loss of herbicides and ongoing build-up of resistance to current products, the presentations made at this meeting demonstrated a range of innovative approaches being taken to address all of these critical issues."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

At a debate during last week's Fruit Focus trade show in Kent, senior industry figures painted a bleak picture of an increasingly difficult seasonal labour market that is already impacting on investment.