Collecting your SwiftDetect leaf samples

21 May 2021

We try to make things as easy as possible for our SwiftDetect customers, which is why our hassle-free test only requires a small sample of leaves to be posted to our lab for testing.

If you’ve ordered SwiftDetect online and have your envelope at the ready, you may be wondering how best to select your sample. Read on to find out how to do just that.

What we recommend

To make your sample as representative as possible, we recommend that you walk in a W shape pattern across your field, collecting a sample of exactly 10 leaves to be tested. It’s important that the leaves are kept dry, to prevent them spoiling by the time they reach us at Microgenetics. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to have a piece of kitchen towel to hand to wrap the leaves in. Leaves should be collected into a paper envelope, without any plastic (no windows) – please avoid zip lock bags.

Once you have your sample, simply post them to our state-of-the-art lab at Microgenetics for testing. When sending multiple samples/envelopes, remember to make a note of the associated test IDs for when you receive your results.

What leaf layers should I sample?

Select your leaves from the T1-T2 spray timing, from leaf 3 emergence through to Flag leaf (leaf 1). This will give you insight into the level of disease within your crop and help you to make an informed choice of fungicides and dose rates to protect those leaves.

Why walk in a W?

It’s important that you get a picture of what is going on across your field, which is why we recommend that you walk in a W shape pattern to collect your sample. Disease is rarely evenly distributed across a field due to factors such as topography of the land, so sampling across the field rather than taking leaves from just one section means you gain a more accurate picture into your disease levels.

Although unlike other methods, such as quadrant sampling, walking a W-shaped path could mean you miss pockets of disease, this method has the best balance between convenience and being representative. There’s a reason this sampling method has been used for over 80 years!

w- shaped field walk

Why 10 leaves?

We require a sample of 10 leaves to generate a SwiftDetect result as meaningful as possible for your field. Your results will be provided as an average across these 10 leaves, providing you with a more accurate picture into the level of disease across your field, rather than of individual leaves.

Ready to send your sample?

Remember, if you’re using your own envelope to jot down your Test IDs supplied in your confirmation email and ensure the envelope used is windowless.

Now, sit back and wait one business day* for your results email!


Want to learn more about what your SwiftDetect results will show? Click here!


* Results issued 1 business day after receipt of sample. Excludes weekends.