North Wyke (latitude 3° 54’ W; longitude 50° 46’N) lies in undulating countryside 7 km to the north of Dartmoor National Park, midway between the villages of South and North Tawton. The River Taw marks the western boundary and flows northwards through the site. At an altitude of 120 m to 180 m the site covers 250 ha, of which 200 ha are grassland and 50 ha are deciduous woodland
The Rothamsted Estate covers 330 ha and supports a mixture of different ecosystems (woodland, arable farming, grassland and short rotation coppice willow). The Park Grass Hay Experiment (est. 1856) is the principal target sample site (TSS) for the majority of the ECN protocols at Rothamsted. This experiment is widely acknowledged to be the oldest continuing agro-ecological experiment in the world.
UK farmers are currently facing a huge problem which undermines the viability of their businesses and their economic competitiveness: the pests, weeds and diseases that attack their crops are becoming pesticide-resistant. Our farmers don’t have enough tools in the toolkit to stop their harvests from being destroyed. Developing sustainable crop protection was already a major issue for the industry, but now with uncertainties regarding farm incomes after Brexit it is all the more critical.
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The sixteenth bulletin for 2016 from the Rothamsted Insect Survey
Most plants have harmless bacteria living inside their tissues, known as ‘endophytes’, which can benefit plants by providing nutrients and suppressing diseases. Scientists have developed a new technique to grow wheat plants without any endophytes, allowing them to introduce different bacterial species into them, which will reveal more about this interaction. The researchers hope that the method could give insights enabling the production of cereal plants with increased yields.
Andrea is an early career Population Geneticist at Rothamsted Research. Her research, which is funded by the BBSRC, examines the evolution of herbicide resistance in black-grass, a major weed of cereal crops.
The fifteenth bulletin for 2016 from the Rothamsted Insect Survey
Rothamsted Research, established in 1843, has been delivering knowledge and innovation that benefit agriculture globally. The international impact of Rothamsted Research is the result of the cumulative efforts of an international community of scientists and institute employees. Almost a quarter of staff members, visiting workers and PhD students currently come from European Union countries.