How to deliver an improved UK agriscience sector outside of the EU

Rothamsted Research and the NFU convened a workshop at Rothamsted Research amongst leading agricultural science, technology and knowledge transfer organisations in the UK. The workshop discussions focused on identifying the key areas of focus in order to have a world leading agriscience sector in the UK after Brexit. The statement below summarises the emerging recommendations from the workshop.

Recommendations

Notes to Editors

Adding evidence to decision making regarding cover and catch crops

The use of cover and catch crops is becoming more common place in UK agriculture. There are many potential benefits of such practices including prevention of soil erosion and leaching of nitrate, improvement of infiltration and adding carbon to the soil. Cover crops have the potential to promote a range of ecosystem services, however, at present there has been very little investigation of which crops do this best. Cover and catch crops must display specific traits to be of benefit to the grower in different rotational positions and thereby justify seed and planting costs; compatibility with cash crops, strong root penetration, growth in low temperature and light conditions and zero seed return. This project will work towards providing an evidence base for growers to make decisions on which cover crops to use.

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Breeding oilseed rape varieties for pollinator-friendly traits

In recent years, some beekeepers have suggested that hybrid varieties of OSR may provide inferior nectar for pollinators compared with traditional open-pollinated varieties.  Scientists at Rothamsted Research, which receives strategic funding from the BBSRC, the University of Exeter and Newcastle University tested whether the amount and quality of nectar produced by glasshouse-grown oilseed rape plants vary between crop variety, and more fundamentally, between three conventional breeding systems used to create the varieties.

Publication

Notes to Editors

Black-grass requires a ‘three-pronged’ attack

Black-grass requires a three-pronged attack to promote and develop sustainable management solutions, according to the main findings arising from an AHDB-funded workshop.

Organised by the BBSRC/AHDB Black-Grass Resistance Initiative (BGRI), the workshop united farmers, industry and researchers to help concentrate the UK’s black-grass management efforts.

Notes to Editors

Mineral vital to human health will decrease due to climate change

There are many people suffering from “hidden hunger” across the world; people that have enough food to eat but have access only to food which does not contain adequate nutritional value. Micronutrients, or minerals, are an essential part of a healthy diet, gained from the soil via the crops we eat, yet many people don’t get enough of them. A new paper from Rothamsted Research has found that climate change could exacerbate this.

Publication

Rothamsted Research Celebrates £2,500 gift from the Patron's Fund

Rothamsted Research is celebrating after receiving a £2,500 gift from The Patron’s Fund, the charitable fund set up to acknowledge the work of the charitable organisations for which Her Majesty, The Queen acts as a Patron, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.

Notes to Editors

Industry joins forces to tackle global food challenges

International agri-businesses, scientists and researchers have committed to working together to answer some of the biggest challenges facing global food security. From boosting sustainable food production in Africa to using data to drive efficiencies in UK farming, each new collaboration to be developed hopes to deliver real benefits on the ground.

Notes to Editors

Scientists uncover hidden wheat treasures

A team of scientists in the UK and USA have generated a new groundbreaking resource of ten million mutations in bread and pasta wheat varieties.

Researchers and breeders can search the public wheat database online to identify changes in their genes of interest and request seeds to improve the nutrition and production of wheat worldwide. They anticipate this will speed up the development of the wheat crop with highly sought-after traits, including disease resistance and increased yield.

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Notes to Editors

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