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Farmers invited to take part in diverse cropping project to increase yields

Farmers invited to take part in diverse cropping project to increase yields

The Organic Research Centre, a leading independent research charity, is inviting UK farmers to participate in a new EU-funded project called DIVERSify which is investigating how to maximise the performance of crop mixtures (or plant teams) to improve yields while reducing the reliance on inputs. Dr Bruce Pearce from the Organic Research Centre said, “It […]

Resistant diamondback moths now capable of surviving winter

Resistant diamondback moths now capable of surviving winter

A ‘super pest’ moth resistant to a class of common plant protection is now also capable of surviving through the UK’s cold winter conditions, according to new research. Diamondback moth (DBM) caterpillars feed on crops including cabbage, broccoli, swedes and Brussels sprouts, causing cosmetic damage, which could result in the loss of up to 100 […]

Rapid increase in pesticide use and new evidence of health impacts of very low doses

Rapid increase in pesticide use and new evidence of health impacts of very low doses

New evidence suggests pesticide use has seen a massive increase in the UK over the last 40 years, with a potential impact on human health, delegates at a Royal Society of Medicine conference have heard. This is in sharp contrast to the claim by the pesticide industry that use has halved. Using data extracted for […]

Moving beyond high yield as measure of success

Moving beyond high yield as measure of success

Agri-Tech East and AHDB (the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) have announced a joint initiative to accelerate the adoption of innovation in the field. A new position of ‘Knowledge and Innovation Facilitator’ is being created to help deliver a programme of new projects. The announcement was made at Agri-Tech East’s REAP, the flagship conference for […]

Crops evolving ten millennia before experts thought

Crops evolving ten millennia before experts thought

Professor Robin Allaby, in Warwick’s School of Life Sciences, has discovered that human crop gathering was so extensive as long ago as the last Ice Age, that it started to have an effect on the evolution of rice, wheat and barley – triggering the process which turned these plants from wild to domesticated. In Tell […]

Barley scientists discover path to improved grain quality

Barley scientists discover path to improved grain quality

Scientists from the International Barley Hub have discovered a genetic pathway to improved barley grain size and uniformity, a finding which may help breeders develop future varieties suited to the needs of growers and distillers. In the latest issue of Nature Communications, cereal genetics researchers working with Professor Robbie Waugh and Dr Sarah McKim, at […]

Building sustainability and resilience in organic supply chains

Building sustainability and resilience in organic supply chains

Maintaining stability and confidence in supply chains could become increasingly complex in the face of an uncertain Brexit with potential changes in the way we trade with other nations. For an expanding organic market, a failure to understand and face these challenges could have consequences for future growth. With this in mind, Soil Association Certification […]

Scottish seed exporters set to increase tonnage to Brazil and Kenya

Government representatives from Scotland and Brazil met in July to simplify the import classification requirements for seed potatoes. The game-changing meeting was organised and funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). Brazil produces circa 3.6m tonnes of potatoes a year according to UN figures, however in terms of productivity yields are only two […]

Government asked to support game-changing agroforestry systems

Government asked to support game-changing agroforestry systems

Some of the UK’s leading farming and forestry organisations have put their names to a letter to Secretary of State Michael Gove, highlighting the benefits of agroforestry, the practice of cultivating trees and crops or livestock on the same area of land. The current Rural Development Programme for England does not include options to support […]

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