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Regulatory report on the occurrence of flowering weeds in agricultural fields


Herbicide efficacy trial control data from a range of arable crops (sunflower, maize, oilseed rape, cereals, sugar beet, potatoes, peas and beans) as well as some permanent crops (orchards, citrus and grapes) were supplied by industry and form a large data set of information on the presence of weed species within trial plots. Relevant information has been extracted from the efficacy data with the intention of demonstrating that, for some crops, the occurrence of attractive flowering weeds in treated fields is relatively rare and constitutes less than 10% of the area of use, thereby highlighting that the weeds in the treated field scenario is not applicable for many typical commercially grown crops. The data were analysed and assessments made specifically on the presence of weed species during each trial, the growth stage of the weed species present, the attractiveness to bees of the weed species present, the ground coverage of the weed species present, the trial location, dates of the trial and the crop growth stage used in the trials. The most pertinent questions being asked were ‘are attractive flowering weeds likely to be present in arable and permanent crop fields?’ and ‘what percentage of the area of the treated field might be occupied by attractive flowering weeds?’.