GLP Field Trials: HRFS is your EPA Region X research partner for conducting GLP field trials
in compliance with EPA's Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Standards. HRFS maintains an
on-site Quality Assurance Unit (QAU), including a full set of GLP compliance SOP's. We have
year's experience in computer-aided trials based on Astrix FieldNote and American Agriculture's
Advantage eFTN data collection systems, as well as some of the newer proprietary databases.
HRFS was the first contractor facility West of the Mississippi to be successfully audited by the
EPA. Our facility was last audited successfully by EPA in October, 2006.
HRFS has substantial experience in writing residue program protocols on a wide range of
chemicals and on the types of tests listed to the right.
Efficacy Field Trials: The primary advantage of working with HRFS on efficacy research is
that HRFS has an excellent reputation for accurate testing and very rapid reporting of results (30
days after trial completion). However, we are also small enough to work with you to tailor
protocols to test your products under the best possible conditions to encourage pest pressure
and evaluate phytotoxicity on economically important crops. With our informal network of
agricultural research facilities, we can assure coverage of all of California to meet CDPR label
In any given year HRFS works with 15 to 35 clients on anywhere from 45 to 130 efficacy research
trials, with 121 conducted in 2008. The scope of research ranges from suggesting set of trials
on crops or pests and developing the appropriate protocol for the client, to client-provided,
protocol driven trials in the areas listed to the right. A recent area of explosive growth for HRFS
services has been in the area of Chemigation trials. HRFS carried out 12 injection trials in 2007,
and 24 in 2008. One of our stready clients observed 12 of his own injection trials carried out
around the U.S., and then declared the HRFS application design to be the most efficient design
he had seen to date.
The land at HRFS is subdivided into 1/8 acre blocks for which detailed land history records are
maintained. Irrigation practices principally include sprinkler, drip and furrow methods if needed.
These practices can be tailored to each block or even to a smaller sub block, if necessary, in
order to match any set of trial objectives.
There are a wide range of other pests, specifically insects and mites, disease, and other
nuisance pests (including a full spectrum of weed species) which can be screened on a wide
range of crop matrices in the field and in our screenhouse.
To assist our clients with timing studies on these pests in our central California setting, HRFS
has developed two NEWS BULLETINS which detail (1) optimum disease testing windows and
2) optimum insect testing windows. Each bulletin specifies the pest, the crop(s) which can be
screened against each pest, and an annual calender showing when each pest is most active in
the field. (Bulletin link)
Seed Company Research and Development: On behalf of several seed company
clients, HRFS has grown out cultivars, varieties and crosses in genetic breeding programs to
allow for vigor and yield studies. In addition, we have participated in some hybridization research
as well. HRFS can be involved with as much or as little of the day to day farm management of
such trials as suits each client's needs. All such trials include secrecy agreements between
HRFS and each client to guarantee confidentiality.
Investigative Agronomy and Economic Litigation Support: HRFS has conducted
several investigations of agronomic and economic impact studies on behalf of various clients.
Examples of past investigations include fruit set and size of cherry tomatoes (did the cultivar set
sufficient fruit and was such fruit of acceptable, market size?), surfactant fruit skin burning (was
this caused by the product or by mishandling or misapplication of the product?), pasture grass
yield (was fertilizer applied properly and in a timely manner?) herbicide tree trunk burn in
cherries (how was long-term orchard yield reduced by tree death and required replacement?)
and alfalfa stand reduction and elimination (how did herbicide overspray reduce potential
Grower Demonstrations: HRFS provides grower demonstrations management for
clients, including all necessary grower contacts and follow up. This includes assuring proper
grower location (crop and age of crop and, if necessary, appropriate variety), application
arrangements and records, trial monitoring and reporting of results. Such demonstration trials
have also included those which are conducted under a client's Experimental Use Permit (EUP).
We can also assist clients set up and host professional tours of any demonstration trials,
including invitations to growers, dealers and/or distributors of product.
Custom Farming: Most annual crops can be custom grown for any client on HRFS land.
Such farming trials are accorded complete client confidentiality and their identification in the field
is coded to ensure such confidentiality. Clients merely need to specify the crop (and supply the
variety or cultivar if it is proprietary in nature), area needed for the crop, required cultural
practices, and irrigation needs. Just a few of the past examples of custom farming trials taken
from our completed files include arrangements with third party growers to irrigate fallow blocks
of land to act as host areas for weed and herbicide screens, growing on HRFS land sets of
perennial crops in small replicate blocks for conduct of herbicide tolerance screens, growing an
annual crop at HRFS properties under normal grower cultural practices to act as a host crop
allowing another site for a client's field representative to carry out confidential company efficacy
and/or phytotoxicity protocols, growing an annual crop for a seed company's seed replication
needs (including bagging plants involved in selfing and/or hybridization, and placing a crop
under drip irrigation in a replicated block design to assess fertilizer (both macro and micro
nutrients) traditional pesticides and bioliogical products applied through chemigation.