Cat no. 205

This is Fisons Pest Control, Research, Development, Manufacture

Running time21:22 Colour Sound 1962 Chesterford Park, Essex

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The development of new insecticides and weed killers at Fisons Pest Control Ltd.


AgricultureIndustrial / Sponsored Film

This film opens with shots of a farmer spraying crops and ploughing. There are shots of the exterior of Fison's Research Centre at Chesterford Park, Essex, a former stately home to which more recent buildings have been added. There are also aerial shots of the park. Inside the laboratory there are scenes of scientists at work as well as of the apparatus and experiments in progress. The commentary explains the general nature of the research work. We see rigs for testing promising chemicals, fungus cultures and a greenhouse experiment on fungus protection of cucumber plants. Caterpillars are seen in insecticide tests.

The film continues by showing larger scale trials in greenhouses and in the field. The need for proper preparation of chemicals is stressed before a sequence shows the safety tests that are essential before a chemical can be released. A chemical has to be safe for users, stock, game, wildlife and bees. There are also checks carried out on residues on food crops. The film explains the advances that have been made in LOVO, low volume spraying. This is demonstrated by spraying on a revolving drum and then simulating a tropical downpour. At Harston, head office and factory, methods of analysis and pilot plant production are shown. We see field trials on various farmers' fields in a variety of areas. This ensures that chemicals are tested in all soil and climate conditions in an actual working setting. The film shows the Chesterford Logarithmic Spraying Machine that gives an accurate control of application during trials. It also allows two chemicals to be sprayed side by side. A Fisons Fieldwork spraying helicopter is seen in action. The film shows sample sheaves of wheat being harvested. They are threshed and the yield carefully measured to quantify the benefits of spraying.The film shows the Harston factory at work. There are shots of the laboratory, the drawing office, the storage tanks, the filling bay and of lorries loading.The next section of the film is concerned with the development of one weed killer; Banlene. This controls redshank, bindweed and knotgrass, together with other weeds, including chickweed and hempnettle. The film shows the development of other weed killers, Fisons 18 - 15 and Phenoxylene Plus together with examples of circumstances in which the application of particular weed killers might be advised. and shows various types of sprayers. 50 different trials on farmers' own land revealed the optimum time for spraying. The film highlights the problems of potato farmers along with developments in developing a weed killer for potatoes that doesn't harm the tuber growing underground. The potato plants are grown in whalehide pots that can be stripped away to reveal the effect on the tubers. The film shows field trials and the resultant potato crop. This sequence also shows a potato lifting machine at work with women hand picking potatoes.

The film finishes by recapping on the various stages of development and the work of the company with products highlighted.


This forms part of the Fison's Collection. Pest Control was a firm taken over by Fisons, which formed the nucleus of their Agrochemicals Division.

Featured Organisations:

Fison's Pest Control Limited

Featured Buildings:

Fison's Research Station, Chesterford Park; Fison's Head Office and Factory, Harston, Cambridgeshire

Fisons Pest Control Ltd

John Alderson

John Mantell

John Bevan

Anthony Oliver

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