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GROWERS could have a rapid resistance test for growing blackgrass next autumn, according to Harper Adams University research presented at the conference.
Samples of blackgrass at the single or two-leaf stage are tested for raised levels of plant enzyme GST. That seems to be a reliable indicator of general herbicide resistance.
"It is the high GST plants that are surviving herbicide treatment," says PhD student John Reade. Testing can be done in a day, so resistance could be identified before the three-leaf stage when herbicides have to be applied.
The research will be complete next March. *