Diamondback moths discovered overwintering in Somerset

Scientists have found diamondback moth (DBM) caterpillars surviving in UK Brassica crops this winter and are recommending growers check their own crops for the pest now.

Previously considered a migratory pest, recent research from AHDB indicated that diamondback moths could be surviving UK winters.

AHDB’s Dawn Teverson, and Rosemary Collier from Warwick Crop Centre have been out in the field hunting for the caterpillars and found the pest on the underside of leaves in un-netted swede crops, located in the south west of England.

AHDB commits £5m to fix fragmented farming innovation pipeline

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is committing £5m to fund Britain’s next generation of agricultural experts in an effort to overhaul the industry’s “fragmented” innovation and skills pipeline.

It will plough the funds into supporting PhD university students over the next five years, following its recent report which identified a UK productivity gap worth over £4bn in lost Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

New plant protection product approved for use in record time

UK herb growers will be able to protect their crops with a new weed control product in record time, following successful trials as part of AHDB’s £1.4m crop protection project.
To achieve this approval so quickly, the team used intelligence from other EU countries, collaborating closely with other manufacturers and growers, to ensure trials on control products fulfil market needs and are likely to gain authorisation for use.

Pregnancy test science could protect the Christmas sprout

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.

Help the James Hutton Institute shape the future of soft fruit research

© James Hutton InstituteDid 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.

Driving out blight with dual control

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.