Rothamsted welcomes the Association of Independent Crop Consultants as Rothamsted Research Association members

AICC members are signed up for Rothamsted science, as the Association has now joined RRA en bloc. "RRA provides a unique opportunity for farmers and agronomists to interact with scientists working on basic areas of research which underpin agricultural production and environmental stewardship. We welcome this opportunity to significantly extend the number of independent agronomists participating in this interaction" says RRA chair, John Tingey. AICC chair Patrick Stephenson agrees.

Rothamsted wins medal at the Chelsea Flower Show

Rothamsted scientists won a Silver-Gilt medal for their exhibit at last week's Chelsea Flower Show. The exhibit, entitled "Good Companions," explained the science behind companion planting. They are involved in new companion planting schemes which are transforming the livelihoods of over 3000 resource poor farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Waggle dance controversy resolved by radar records of bee flight paths

A paper published in Nature on May 12th (1) provides new data that resolves a long-standing scientific controversy. In the 1960s, Nobel Prize winning zoologist, Karl von Frisch, proposed that honeybees use dance (the "waggle dance") as a coded message to guide other bees to new food sources. However, some scientists did not accept von Frisch's theory. Using harmonic radar, scientists have now tracked the flight of bees that had attended a "waggle dance" and found that they flew straight to the vicinity of the feeding site, as predicted by von Frisch.

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How companion planting is helping over 3000 African farmers

Scientists from Rothamsted Research will be exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show (1) in order to explain the science behind companion planting. Their work is helping to support new farming systems, which are transforming the livelihoods of over 3000 resource poor farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Notes to Editors

Historical crop samples link changes in wheat disease to air pollution

Scientists at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden and the University of Reading have been able to recover DNA from crop diseases on wheat samples stored as part of a Victorian field experiment. Using this DNA, they have discovered how changes in air pollution over the last 160 years have affected fungal diseases on our wheat crops.

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Radar tracking reveals that butterflies follow decisive flight paths

The charming meanderings of butterflies are not as random as they appear, according to new research. Scientists at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden have found that their seemingly irresolute flutterings are in fact decisive flight paths. The harmonic radar has been used before to track the flights of bumblebees and honeybees. Now it has been shown to work for butterflies too, opening a new window on the flight behaviour of these important pollinating species.

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Why do some people get bitten by mosquitoes more than others?

Why is it that when you go on holiday some members of your family always seem to get bitten more than others? Scientists at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire think they may have found the answer and their work could lead to the development of novel insect repellents.

Notes to Editors

New GM crop management systems give wildlife benefits

In research published today1, scientists from Broom's Barn Research Station conclusively show how to use GM herbicide tolerant (GMHT) crop technology for environmental benefit. The authors suggest that the new crop management approaches they have demonstrated could resolve legitimate concerns about indirect environmental effects of GM sugar beet on weeds, insects and birds.

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