Pest Management Science - 2022 - Buddenhagen - Factors impacting the detection of weed seed contaminants in seed lots.pdf (979.29 kB)

Factors impacting the detection of weed seed contaminants in seed lots

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posted on 2023-05-10, 07:44 authored by Chris BuddenhagenChris Buddenhagen, Deborah Hackell, Harold HendersonHarold Henderson, Ben Wynne-Jones
Background: The setting and following of phytosanitary standards for weed seeds can lessen the impacts of weeds on agriculture. Standards adopted by seed companies, laboratories and regulators ensure the contamination rates do not exceed some thresholds. Globally sample size standards are set based on the amount needed to obtain a contaminant in a random sample of the seed lot, not detectability. New Zealand requires a 95% confidence that the maximum pest limit of 0.01% of quarantine weed seed contamination is not exceeded in an imported seed lot. We examined 24 samples each containing approximately 150 000 seeds of either perennial ryegrass (12 samples) or white clover seeds (12 samples) that were then spiked with seeds (contaminants) from 12 non-crop species (3–8 seeds of each). We considered factors that may impact detection rates: shape, color, size, and texture relative to the crop, and technician (including a commercial seed laboratory). Results: A linear mixed model fitted to the data indicated significant observer, crop, and seed color, shape, and size effects on detection. Detectability increased by 20% ± 7.7 (± standard error) when seeds had a distinct shape or color (28% ± 8.1), or were larger (23% ± 8.7) rather than smaller, relative to the crop. Commercial laboratory identifications were usually correct at the level of genus, and species for common weeds, but some misidentifications occurred. Conclusion: Sample sizes for border inspections should be based on detectability of regulated weed seeds in the crop in combination with weed risk for the crop and location.


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© 2022 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.||This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.


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Journal title

Pest Management Science




Buddenhagen, C. E., Hackell, D., Henderson, H. V., & Wynne-Jones, B. (2022). Factors impacting the detection of weed seed contaminants in seed lots. Pest Management Science, 79(2), 489–908.