What was the problem?
Black-grass is an annual weed which poses a major threat to crops, its prevalence increasing largely as a result of resistance to commonly-used herbicides. Black-grass is thought to be the most economically important weed in Western Europe with upwards of 13% yield losses recorded.
Mologic set out to develop a rapid diagnostic test to establish the herbicide resistance of the weed using a single blade of grass. It needed to be able to be used in the field via a simple leaf extraction process. The objective was to enable farmers to quickly and easily interpret results in an accurate, rapid, robust and cost-effective field-side test, designed for manufacture.
Mologic custom-developed a low-cost primary screen field test for herbicide resistance, involving a novel method for mechanical disruption of the leaf sample which avoided the need for expensive, powered equipment. This was achieved via a buffer which was aggressive enough to break apart the leaf structure, yet gentle enough for the test to consistently deliver accurate results.
The cost-effective device cassette was suitable for use in the field use and delivered clear results.
The Mologic test provides evidence of enhanced metabolism resistance early on in the growth cycle, so farmers can assess plants for early-onset herbicide resistance instead of environmental factors or dose rate. Able to be manufactured at scale, the test empowers farmers to make informed decisions about how they manage their black-grass problem.
”The best black-grass control strategy is an informed approach. Using the field-side test can help to quickly identify multiple herbicide resistance, enabling sustainable advice on crop management decisions and reducing over-reliance on chemical control options.”
Agronomist, Pearce Seeds