Unravelling herbicide resistance in black-grass from gene to field
Hot off the press, the BGRI’s Laura Crook has written an article published on the Annals of Botany blog page “Botany one” this week. Entitled “Big problem. Big experiments. Big data”, it gives some insight into the scale of UK black-grass infestations and the work of the BGRI team in tackling this. Check it out at the following link: Plant Records: Big Problem. Big Experiments. Big Data.
Here’s the Fourth installment of our Black-grass Bulletin, our project newsletter: Black-grass Bulletin
Rothamsted colleagues Laura and Richard have led the BGRI field-team to complete another year’s Black-grass field surveying earlier this summer. This involved revisiting our network of farms and surveying all fields that had either winter wheat or winter barley in them, approximately 75 fields in total this year.
Cereals 2017 was held at Boothby Graffoe on 14th and 15th June 2017, with the BBSRC-AHDB Black-grass Resistance Initiative showcasing results from the project on the Rothamsted Research stand.
In May this year I attended the Global Herbicide Resistance Challenge conference in Denver, Colorado, USA along with five other colleagues from Rothamsted Research. This was a great opportunity to showcase some of the research from the BGRI that we have been working on for the past three years and a chance to network with scientists working on herbicide resistance from across the world. This was also a particularly exciting trip for myself as technicians do not always attend conferences so I was grateful of the opportunity to be part of an international meeting and present my work.
On 13th - 14th December, the Black-grass Resistance Initiative held an AHDB funded black-grass management workshop at Rothamsted Research. The workshop brought together 80 stakeholders including farmers, commercial agronomists, industry representatives, research funders, policy-makers and public / private research organisations to consider future options and perspectives for black-grass management.
In July, Bayer held its first ‘Black-grass Live’ event which consisted of a Question-Time style format with a chairperson and a panel of six experts to lead the conversation and answer questions submitted by the audience. BGRI member Richard Hull from Rothamsted Research was invited to be part of the panel and Laura Crook, also from Rothamsted, attended the event. As well as an audience of farmers and journalists, the whole show was streamed live on the internet for the public to watch.
On Saturday 9th July 2016, BGRI member Laura Crook from Rothamsted Research took part in a Soapbox Science event at Milton Keynes shopping centre. As part of the Soapbox science platform promoting the achievements of women in science, Laura took to her ‘soapbox’ for an hour, speaking to passing shoppers about Black-grass, herbicide resistance, and the importance of technicians in science.
Once again the BGRI team were out in force at this year’s Cereals event, held over the 15th and 16th June at Duxford. The BGRI plot on the BBSRC/Rothamsted Research stand featured wheat at four different levels of Black-grass infestation, demonstrating the different scales of problem encountered by our field team.
From 1st May, the BGRI team has an additional member. Alexa Varah will be working with Ken Norris at ZSL to look at the environmental and economic impacts of resistance management strategies. This will involve building scenarios for resistance management and creating computer models to predict the likely impacts on farmland biodiversity, water quality and greenhouse gas emissions.
The third installment of our Black-grass Bulletin project newsletter is here! Black-grass Bulletin Issue 3
The BGRI held its second Farmer Focus Workshop on 19th November 2015, in Cambridgeshire, kindly hosted by Paul Drinkwater. The aim of this meeting was to update on the various aspects of the project whilst hearing the farmers own experiences of black-grass control and their views on the BGRI project.
The BGRI has a new team member from the start of this month. Shaun will be developing mathematical models to understand how field- and landscape-scale processes influence the evolution of herbicide resistance.
On July 16th, the BGRI team will be in Harrogate for a Farmer-Scientist Network hosted [Black-grass seminar] (/assets/news/FSN_Black_Grass_Breakfast_Seminar.pdf). The session will be chaired by Rob Edwards, and will include contributions from other BGRI members Paul Neve and Rob Freckleton. Come along to learn more about the BGRI’s research, and to discuss the opportunities and challenges in controlling this weed.
Come and see the BGRI team on the BBSRC-Rothamsted stand at Cereals next week. BGRI researchers will be present throughout the event to provide updates on the latest research (including the national resistance audit), talk about future plans and listen to the experience of those managing black-grass at the coal face. On the second day (Thursday 11th June), Paul Neve will give a brief update on the BGRI project at a BBSRC-hosted breakfast briefing.
Hot off the press! Here’s the second installment of our Black-grass Bulletin Black-grass Bulletin, our project newsletter.
On 12th February, the BGRI held its inaugural Farmer Focus Workshop. Many thanks to all of the farmers who attended the event in Warwickshire last week. This first meeting provided an opportunity for the BGRI team to introduce farmers to the science behind the project and to seek their views on research objectives and priorities.
On Thursday 25th September the BGRI held its first stakeholder meeting. Representatives from 14 organisations made the journey to London to attend our meeting at ZSL – not only on the promise of a lunchtime pass into the zoo, but more importantly, to get updates from the BGRI team and to contribute to the project.
Now that our summer survey season is over we thought we would take this opportunity to give you an update on progress. Here is the very first issue of the Black-grass Bulletin, our project newsletter.
Since the launch of the BGRI in June we’ve received some fantastic media coverage. Check out the following article: “Project promise on resistance conundrum” published in the August edition of Crop Production Magazine.
After a busy field season mapping black-grass densities and collecting seeds, the BGRI team are now back in the office and the glasshouses preparing seeds for resistance testing and collating field management data. We would like to thank everyone that has helped to make this summer’s surveys and seed collection so successful!
The BGRI team are now back at work, after spending a productive, if somewhat hot and sticky two days at this year’s Cereals event in Duxford, Cambridgeshire. For some of the team, this was our first Cereals event, and it proved a great opportunity to meet and speak with farmers, their agronomists and the wider industry about the burgeoning threat from black-grass.
Just in time for Cereals 2014. Follow us on Twitter to find out more. For the moment the site just provides an overview of the project. As the BGRI develops though, it will act as a repository for project outputs. We’ll also be posting employment opportunities as they arise.
Three new members of the BGRI have started this month. Together they will be overseeing the resistance audit and field-scale monitoring of black-grass densities across our netowrk of farms.