The science behind the home-pregnancy test is now being trialled to detect the presence of diseases, which can devastate fields of vegetable crops, including the Christmas sprout.
Trials are underway to help protect crops of Brassicas – sprouts, broccoli, cabbage – and onions, which generated more than £356 million for UK agriculture last year. Diseases including ring spot, light leaf spot and downy mildew are being monitored.
Did you know products developed at the James Hutton Institute and its forebears are familiar names on supermarket shelves, including popular raspberry varieties such as Glen Ample and Glen Lyon? Also, were you aware of the fact that 50% of the world’s blackcurrant crop was developed by scientists in Dundee?
Now you have a chance to help shape the future of soft fruit research: our commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Limited, is seeking to gather opinions from soft fruit growers, marketers and retailers about the kind of tools and models that would be useful to them to support decision making throughout the growing season and ultimately, maximise the most desirable outcomes at harvest. In the long term, this will help to support wider, Innovate UK funded and AHDB-supported research.
Combining methods of disease control rather than relying on a single resistance strategy can extend the durability of crops by many years, confirms computer modelling that draws on classical population genetics theory.
Warwick University‘s School of Life Sciences is a partner in a new £1.4M 4-year project ‘SCEPTREplus’ funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). The aim of the project is to deliver applied research on high priority disease, pest and weed problems in fresh produce and ornamental crops in order to support approval of products and devise and develop IPM programmes. The project consortium is chaired by Ed Moorhouse (Agri-Food Solutions Director) and includes RSK ADAS, NIAB EMR and Stockbridge Technology Centre.
Maintaining production of many UK crops is at risk if neonicotinoids, the pesticides linked with harming bees, are more widely restricted or banned completely, says Rothamsted Research in a position statement published today.
“Furthermore, if groups of chemistries are limited by legislation, the remaining groups will be more widely used, resulting in an increased risk of pests developing resistance to them,” continues the statement from Rothamsted, the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world.