The effectiveness of different anti-resistance strategies for sulfonylurea grassweed herbicides is going to be evaluated in a new four-year DEFRA/HGCA-funded LINK project, Dr Moss said.

“It is similar to the HeRMeS project that finished last year looking at ACCase inhibitors.

This one is largely geared to looking at the risks of ALS inhibitors.”

The project will look at the use of sulfonylureas to see what risks are attached to using them alone, in mixtures or sequences.

“We cannot assume the same things will apply as for fops and dims.”

He denied that by the time the project was completed it would be too late to use the information obtained.

“Weed resistance builds up much slower than in fungicides.

Even if you find resistance to Atlantis, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is over the whole farm.”

A second project investigating sulfonylurea resistance in broadleaved weeds has also been given the go ahead, he added.

“There are some indications that the cross-resistance patterns are not straightforward.

For example, in Spain there are poppies resistant to 2,4D as well as sulfonylureas, so we felt we needed a UK perspective.”