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.
Two crops or one? Sometimes, growing two crops simultaneously on the same piece of land – called intercropping – can benefit farmers. But it needs careful planning and resource management.
In some parts of Africa, farmers intercrop sorghum – a grain – and peanuts. But they face a major information gap. There hasn’t been much research on optimal levels of fertilizer use for intercropping sorghum and peanuts in these areas.
A new study has filled this information gap. Researchers from Niger, Mali, and the United States have developed a method to help farmers determine how much fertiliser to apply when intercropping.
Choosing different crops, building soil organic matter and planting more trees could allow farmers to reduce the risk of nearby rivers from bursting their banks miles downstream, according to an innovative new research project.
Researchers in a collaborative project led by the University of Reading will work with farmers, advisors, communities and local authorities across the West Thames area to learn how different land management methods impact on flood risk.
The LANDWISE (LAND management in loWland catchments for Integrated flood riSk rEduction) proposal is one of three projects funded under the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)’s £4m Understanding the Effectiveness of Natural Flood Management (NFM) programme, and will receive £1.25m.
The Rothamsted Open Innovation Forum (ROIF), which will be held from 18-20 January, is attracting industry leaders from around the world to try and provide solutions to global food challenges. “It’s clear from the range of pre-competitive pitches we’ve received that the breadth of topics the forum will cover will be extremely broad,” says Chris Dunkley, chief executive of Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise. “Day three of the event will bring industry champions together to discuss everything from crop science to agronomy and data – giving everyone from farmers to scientists the chance to get involved with the big opportunities in global food security.”