Field studies are essential in establishing the environmental impact of crop protection products and the assessment of human risk. They mimic the real-life agricultural situation in which agrochemicals are used. That means following GLP and GAP and ensuring realistic application and usage. It also means being on the ground to document what is happening – both the expected and the unexpected.
Field studies can be complex to set-up, unpredictable and often need interpretation across zones.
There are many challenges related to running field trials. You need to establish the most appropriate regions and crops for your study in line with regulatory requirements. You need to ensure studies are conducted in line with GLP and GAP and understand how results, especially for MRL, may be interpreted internationally. Timely sampling combined with robust and reliable analytics is essential.
Your partner in the office and in the field
Whether you need a single trial or a pan-region trial program, we can help. Our expert agronomists and analytical chemists design and execute trials collaborating with our in-house residue chemists, ecotoxicologists, environmental fate and regulatory consultants to ensure successful delivery of study outcomes. As our partner, you will receive proactive communication from experienced Study Directors, timely specimen transfer, robust analysis with the benefit of in-life data review and interpretation by our analytical experts. Your reports will be high quality and delivered on time.
With in-field operators, we are on the ground to monitor study success and keep trials on schedule. This includes calibration of farm equipment and ensuring GLP training or registration for all farmers (where applicable) and co-operators who are fully GLP registered within their countries. As expert project managers, the field trials team co-ordinate multidisciplined activities, providing technical expertise and meeting with regulatory authorities (if required).
Whether you need a standard or tailored study designed to meet your specific requirements, our team of experts can help based on their track record of running many types of field studies, including:
- Raw agricultural commodities (RAC) and processing
- Soil dissipation and accumulation
- Crop rotation
- Dislodgeable foliar residue
- Operator exposure studies (OPEX)
- Worker re-entry studies
- By-stander studies
- Fumigation of soil, facilities and containers
- Post-harvest studies on any crop and workers
- Others - import tolerance, sprayability or volatilization studies
Raw agricultural commodities (RAC) and processing
On-the-ground insight optimizes the selection of suitable field co-operators across the world. Outdoor, indoor and glasshouse facilities mean a range of crops can be studied for a long time period through the year. In Europe, our teams control freezer truck transportation to ensure the viability of specimens and expedite delivery to the laboratory.
A range of processing facilities allow us to flex capacity based on specification needs and urgency. Our processing experience covers many crops (tomato, orange, etc), many types of processed commodity regardless of its complexity (from juice or jam, to wine or oil) and many industrial or home processing procedures.
Soil dissipation and accumulation
Labcorp has extensive experience in soil dissipation and accumulation studies on many different soil types (including paddies) in Northern and Southern Europe. All study designs comply with OECD and EPA guidelines and EFSA and NAFTA guidance documents. One meter depth sampling is standard and this can be divided into smaller sections. Care continues after application with sand covering, irrigation or incorporation as appropriate. Onsite weather stations are standard and if necessary, overhead irrigation is provided to replicate historical rainfall.
Dislodgeable foliar residue
Extensive preliminary work with analytical teams ensures the optimization of dislodging procedures and the stability of dislodge solutions. We have the facilities and capability to undertake dislodging studies at field sites across Europe with many different crop types using 2.5 or 5 cm2 disc Birkestrand type or equivalent sampler. By employing the latest imaging processing software reliable measurement of leaf area can be guaranteed.
Operator (OPEX), worker (re-entry) and by-stander studies
As well as field studies focused on residue analysis, Labcorp has a track record of successful OPEX studies including passive dosimetry, biomonitoring studies and air sampling. Experience of many different application techniques (tractor-mounted equipment or knapsack), formulation types (liquid, dust or fumigants), crops (outdoor and indoor), re-entry patterns and by-standers set ups within sprayed crops or processing facilities combined with in-field analytical services provide a complete wrap-round support for you and your substance.
Fumigation of soil, facilities and containers
Fumigants are difficult to work with. Their unique chemical characteristics make the preliminary preparations including the compliance of the professional fumigation company, a very important part of the study. Labcorp has worked with fumigants in different scenarios, from soil to building fumigation (e.g. mills), providing a wide range of expertise for your study.
Studies involving commercial fumigation processes can pose many challenges including the large scale of these operations and locations being remote from the analytical laboratory. At Labcorp we developed a unique and regulator approved laboratory scale alternative to large commercial containers. Employing modified gas-tight steel containers as exposure chambers located in temperature-controlled rooms on the same site as the analytical facility, allowing for rapid analysis from the time of sample generation which is vital when handling gaseous fumigants.
Post-harvest studies on any crop and workers
Our expertise does not end in the field. Most of our commodities need to be stored or processed before arriving to our shops. Sampling and analyzing the post-harvest commodities or monitoring the workers in the post-harvest facilities are a large part of our capacities and experience.
Import tolerance studies
Import Tolerance studies are needed to set maximum residue limits for imported products such that trade can be facilitated. Due to a variety of reasons, there is a general disharmony of MRLs across the food producing world and this can cause problems for those involved in the import / export of agricultural products containing agrochemical residues.
Labcorp has extensive experience in successfully overcoming the challenges of running studies within countries without specific GLP field capacities. Our in-house Study Directors knowledge together with experience of coordinating frozen and refrigerated specimen shipments around the world back to the laboratory ensures the validity of the complete program.
For those in relentless pursuit of a sustainable future, we strive to be more than a partner. We are your source for the product development services, insights and answers you need to make life better for our planet and its people.