WET Centre offers confidence, consistency, control and cost-savings

© NIAB-EMRReducing the amount of water needed to grow high quality full flavoured strawberries while at the same time optimising the yield of the crop is now achievable thanks to the work of the new Water Efficient Technologies (WET) Centre, developed at NIAB EMR.

The WET Centre, based at the centre for horticulture and perennial fruit crop research in Kent, has been designed to showcase the latest developments in irrigation management and moisture sensing technologies.

Sustainable water use in Africa

Lancaster University leads a ground-breaking project working with African researchers and entrepreneurs to address the urgent need for safe, sustainable water use in Africa

The £6.8M project, part of the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund, aims to build capacity within Africa to carry out and translate high quality research into the new products, processes and services needed to solve the continent’s water crisis.

Global issues to be tackled in ambitious research programme

© University of East Anglia

An academic from the University of East Anglia (UEA) is part of a consortium that has won a £6.5m grant to look at food security in India.

The funding, announced today by Minister of State for Universities and Science Jo Johnson, has been awarded by Research Councils UK as part of its Global Challenges Research Fund. The £225 million initiative aims to build upon research knowledge in the UK, and strengthen capacity overseas, to help address challenges, informed by expressed need in the developing countries.

Data from amateur naturalists can improve quality of predicted disease distributions

A new study concludes that members of the public can accurately report disease outbreaks affecting our native trees and that by combining their findings with official survey effort better quality predictions of disease distributions can be made.

Blueberry growers advised to remain alert about recently detected pest

© James Hutton InstituteThe blueberry aphid, Ericaphis scammelli, has been detected during routine aphid surveys by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) and is thought to be widespread across Scotland. It is also known to occur in other parts of the United Kingdom and Europe.

The pest can be found more on some cultivars than others with highest infestation levels between May and July.

Plants use calcium to convey internal warning of attacking aphids

Scientists at the John Innes Centre have discovered how plants send internal warning signals in response to attack by aphids.

They found that when the insect feeds on a leaf it triggers the plant to admit calcium into the damaged cells. This small flux of calcium prompts the plant to signal that an attack is underway, and a larger amount of calcium is then mobilised from within the cell.