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06 Oct 2023 < Back

Breaking New Ground - Previewing the #IIWC23

As the International Invasive Weed Conference rapidly approaches, PCA's Technical Manager Daniel Docking gives us a sneak preview into how the event is shaping up and what's on the agenda. If you have yet to book your ticket, check out what's in store...

Offering an exceptional platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration and igniting critical debates, which sometimes goes unnoticed, in my humble opinion, this year's presenter line-up promises to be the most innovative and groundbreaking yet! Picture a room filled with esteemed academics and industry experts, all poised to push the boundaries as we delve into the controversial topic of "Glyphosate-Induced Dormancy: Myths or Facts?" and examine whether our industry is sitting on a potential time bomb if dormancy begins to wane.

Novel approaches

This conference looks set to ignite fresh, ingenious ideas and foster collaborations with organisations which could pave the way for new methods of controlling and eradicating invasive plants. Horsetail, often the bane of homeowners and a challenge for contractors due to its notorious resilience, will be a key focus. William Weld from Certis Belchim will share insightful data on how a combination of pelargonic acid and glyphosate has performed in field trials.

Ard Reijtenbagh from Soilwise will also be presenting a groundbreaking method involving diving underground to enrich the soil and airtight covering, which has shown remarkable potential in breaking down Japanese knotweed roots, in a single treatment. Meanwhile, Dan Reglar from Railscape Ltd will take to the skies, demonstrating the effectiveness of drones in controlling non-native species in hard-to-reach areas and how their drones are spraying herbicides in an extremely controlled manner.

Practical strategies to adopt

While some of these control methods may seem advanced, there are practical strategies that conference attendees can adopt almost immediately. Charles Hughes will showcase how the Canal & Rivers Trust has successfully reclaimed miles of embankment through their award-winning invasive weed eradication project focused on Himalayan Balsam. Dr Tom Bennett, Univeristy of Leeds will delve into his latest findings on the efficacy of copper strips in geotextiles against invasive species.

With glyphosate at the core of many remediation projects, Mark Buckingham from Bayer will provide a compelling rebuttal against the anti-glyphosate lobby, arming us with the key points to counter their arguments. Managing the risks posed by invasive species can be challenging, especially in light of changing guidelines, legislation, and legal challenges.

Knowledge, insights and collaboration

With this in mind, our final session of the day promises to be immensely valuable for individuals and companies seeking to protect themselves. Paul Beckett from Phlorum will share insights gleaned from clients who have faced legal challenges. Gavin Measures from Natural England will provide clarity on recent legislation changes regarding invasive plants. Lastly, Lisa Hammond and Laura Catterall from HSE will shed light on Plant Protection Products and the upcoming wave of enforcement surrounding these professional products.

This year's conference offers every attendee a unique opportunity to engage, acquire new knowledge, and leave with fresh insights and potential collaborations. We believe that this event can go some way to breaking down barriers and ensure significant strides are taken in the battle against invasive weeds.

We look forward to welcoming you on 16th November...

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