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.
Studies carried out by Warwick University‘s Dr Lauren Chappell, now an Elsoms plant pathologist, have identified the three main pathogens responsible for parsnip canker, providing a secure platform for the development of disease-resistant lines. Elsoms, a global leader in parsnip breeding, is investing heavily in research, state-of-the art breeding techniques and seed production to bring UK growers the very best varieties.