New project launched to encourage uptake of alternative weed control methods

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A new project focused on alternative weed control strategies has been launched, with researchers calling for industry views industry views to ensure the needs of British farmers are addressed.

With herbicide resistance, a lack of new active ingredients and legislation reducing the number of available herbicide actives, many growers in the UK and beyond are being pushed towards biological and cultural methods of weed control.

To improve grower confidence in alternative weed control strategies, a H2021 European project called OPER8 will share guidance and advice on alternative methods which are proven to be effective on farm against key weeds.

Three-year project

OPER8 is a three-year H2021 European project led by the Agricultural University of Athens and supported by eight partner organisations from seven countries.

The overall objective is to communicate, demonstrate and promote alternative weed control solutions to key stakeholders through networks across the EU.

The OPER8 project builds upon the findings from eight European Innovation Projects, of which ADAS were involved in two, which investigated alternative weed control methods across Europe.

An inventory of factsheets, videos, e-learning modules, demonstration events and workshops will be used to disseminate the information gathered during these projects. It will also provide policy guidance in the form of targeted National action plans.

Industry views wanted

To ensure the needs of British farmers are addressed, Oper8 is asking farmers, advisors and agricultural researchers to complete a short survey on their opinions and usage of alternative weed control. You can find the survey here: Needs, gaps and barriers Survey.

“Grower insight is pivotal for the project to be successful,” says Lynn Tatnell, principal weed research scientist at RSK ADAS. “Their feedback and experience will help develop national action plans and future alternative weed technology that align with the growers needs to produce competitive crops with reduced availability of actives.”

Prize draw

For every survey completed, participants will be entered into a draw with the chance of winning a free annual subscription to ADAS’ publication, Crop Action, or a hamper provided by Hamper Fayre worth £19.99.

Five winners will be randomly selected on the deadline for survey submission which is 17:00 on 8 March 2023. Winners will be contacted within one week of the draw.

Results from the survey will be made available to all participants via email. To find out more and follow developments of the project, visit the OPER8 website or follow the project on social media.

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