Efficacy Screening Services

  • Supporting the discovery stage of new molecules - we can help you increase compound value, identification of registration challenges as well as mitigating registration challenges
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Efficacy Screening Services
Fera is a leading provider of efficacy tests and trials for plant-protection products. We are officially recognised as a component body* to carry out tests on products for agricultural, horticultural, stored crop and vertebrate control application. 

Fera provides efficacy screening services to help you successfully patent and register new pesticide and other plant-protection compounds. Our scientists will test the efficacy of your compounds under controlled conditions on a wide range of plant pest, pathogen and weed species. Successful product registration relies on robust efficacy testing, you can rely on Fera to provide data across all stages of screening to support you with early product registration. 

Whether you need early screening of new active ingredients, small-scale ‘pilot’ studies to support new product development or large-scale efficacy data for product registration, our scientists have the expertise and resources to deliver a bespoke testing programme to suit your requirements. 

Fera offers all the scientific expertise you need to assess and demonstrate the efficacy of your products.


How can we help?

* Certificate number: ORETO 134.


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We understand that the industry is under significant pressure as regulatory requirements for agrochemicals become more stringent, and therefore there are less active ingredients to choose from.

Dedicated to supporting our partners bring their products to market, Fera uses original thinking and scientific knowledge to create bespoke solutions that help our partners test new compounds.

Our approach is aimed at improving plant and crop health by supporting product development for the agricultural sector that helps to maintain high yields while ensuring the sustainability and productivity for the agri-food industry. 

Fera can work flexibly, performing both small-scale indicative studies or to meet more in-depth higher tier testing requirements for a compound. This includes providing expert guidance to support large-scale efficacy data for product registration and individual environmental fate and ecotoxicology screens for single compounds to support small-scale ‘pilot’ studies. Our bespoke testing programmes suit all scale projects to help our partners successfully patent and register new pesticide and other plant-protection compounds.


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  • WIDE RANGE
    Plant Pests, Pathogens & Weed Species 
  • REGISTRATION SUPPORT
    New Compounds & Control Methods
  • PATENT APPLICATION SUPPORT
    Clear, Comprehensive Reporting
  • STATE OF THE ART FACILITIES
    Extensive Facilities, Experienced Scientists

Download the Efficacy ebook.

An evaluation of efficacy of any new compound is therefore required before any PPP can be developed and then ultimately marketed. At Fera, we understand that the industry is under significant pressure as regulatory requirements for agrochemicals become more stringent, and therefore there are less active ingredients to choose from.  Dedicated to supporting our partners bring their products to market, Fera uses original thinking and scientific knowledge to create bespoke solutions that help our partners test new compounds.

Fera can work flexibly, performing both small-scale indicative studies or to meet more in-depth higher tier testing requirements for a compound.



Available Screens

Your Fera efficacy testing programme will be fully confidential. Fera offers a multi stage efficacy screening approach for plant-protection products and control methods. 

We can carry out tests for efficacy on a wide range of species, including:

  • Many major pest (plant pathogen, insect, nematode or weed) of arable and horticultural crops.
  • Stored product beetles.
  • Public health pests, including cockroaches and flies.
  • Poultry and dust mites.
  • Ants.

Your tests can be carried out in a range of environments, according to your needs, from controlled laboratory conditions to practical semi-field and full-field trials. We recommend that initial laboratory studies are run in conjunction with phytotoxicity trials, to determine your product’s compatibility with a range of crop species.

Screen Tests Available
Primary Screen (All compounds)
Compounds for primary screening can be tested against: fungal plant pathogens,
nematodes, insects, mites and weeds. You can customise testing according to your needs
Pathogen Efficacy Agar Test
Nematicidal Activity Agar Test
Entomology Assessment Leaf Dip
Herbicidal Activity Seedlings
Secondary Screen (compounds assessed against targets
where efficacy demonstrated in the Primary Screen)
- Secondary screening tests
are carried out in planta either in a glasshouse or controlled environment room. In these
screens compounds can be applied either at high volumes using hand held atomiser
sprayers or at low volume (field rate)  using the laboratory track sprayer.
Pathogen Efficacy
- Agar including EC50 values
- Photometric assessment of spore germination
- In planta providing either minimum inhibitory concentration of EC50 values
Nematicidal Activity
-  Agar (concentration ranges)
- In planta (sand test)
Entomology Assessment Leaf Discs - living/dead ratio
Herbicidal Activity - Seedling Weed & Crop Services
Drought Stress - Seeding Stomata Assessment
Tertiary Screen - Compounds assessed against targets where efficacy demonstrated in
Secondary Screen. In these screens compounds can be applied either at high volumes
using hand held atomiser sprayers or at low volume (field rate) using the laboratory track sprayer
Resistance Profiling - Various pathogens strains
Herbicide Assessment - Pre/post emergence of crop/weeds
Fungicide Assessment - Protective/curative
Insecticide Assessment - Protective/curative
Activity Assessment - Systemic/contact
Mode of Action Comparison
Quaternary Screen - Compounds assessed targets where efficacy demonstrated in
tertiary screen. Quaternary screening studies are tailored for each compound, based on
previous screening results and evidence. Studies will be designed to deliver in-silico
evaluation of compounds to support the chemical synthesis programme, or to determine
likely regulatory issues such as toxicology or ecotoxicology.
Mammalian Toxiciity - In silico Method
Ecotoxicology - In silico Method
Bespoke - Based in outputs of previous screens and evidence required

Fera has the best people in the right place focussed on delivering the right solution. We continuously invest in our people and support them in delivering the best science to our partners.
Areas of Expertise

Marc Kennedy

Marc's expertise is in the analysis of computer simulation models and has developed specialist tools and software for sensitivity analysis, uncertainty analysis and calibration of complex models

Meet the scientists

Phil Jennings

Phil Jennings has over 25 years of experience in fungal plant pathology, especially epidemiology, disease control, experimental/field trial designs and investigative research approaches.

Efficacy Screening

Tony Cowgill

Tony has worked with many farming businesses over the years as their preferred agronomist, whilst at the same time working as a Sales and Marketing Director. Tony continues to be a BASIS  examiner, for people taking the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection. 




How can Fera help?

Fera can support both discovery companies and established plant protection producers with individual environmental fate and ecotoxicology screens, while also offering bespoke multi stage efficacy screening for higher tier studies used to meet regulations and help get products to market.


Ecotoxicology Services

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