Tag Archives: AHDB Horticulture

National Cut Flower Centre secures funding

AHDB has announced that the National Cut Flower Centre (CFC), based at Rookery Farm near Holbeach in Lincolnshire has secured a further five years of funding.

The remit of the CFC project will also be broadened to include new research into crop protection and nutrition. According to AHDB, “The CFC will continue to identify new commercially successful cut flowers to the UK market and begin new trials for 2018 include research into Fusarium on column stocks, in conjunction with University of Warwick, and weed control, supported by ADAS.

“Budget has been allocated this year to address petal spotting on field-grown sunflowers, which causes losses of up to 2.4million stems per year in the UK.”

The first output from the new remit was presented to attendees at the CFC’s open evening earlier this month, which also featured a mobile, on-site diagnostic laboratory giving growers the opportunity to bring in plant samples for examination and diagnosis.

Previous trials at the CFC have led to the introduction of 11 new commercially grown crops, with a combined potential farm-gate value of £2.9million over the previous five year period.

Photo Credit: AHDB Horticulture

The post National Cut Flower Centre secures funding appeared first on Hort News on 20 August 2018.

New mating disruption technique offers hope for Tuta absoluta control

Trials funded by AHDB Horticulture have discovered a synthetic sex pheromone that confuses male Tuta absoluta moths so they can’t find females to mate with. The chemical, Isonet-T, offers new hope to commercial tomato growers for control of the devastating pest.

In the trials the mating disruption technique led to complete population control with no visible crop damage during the first 22 weeks when placed amongst plants on arrival in glasshouses. At the same time, growers adapting the research for their own trials also experienced exceptional results with pest population growth stopping immediately.

Richard Bezemer, Cleveland Nurseries, who participated in the trials said, “We experienced severe Tuta absoluta populations in 2016 for the first time. The trials have been so successful in our nursery that we now believe we are completely free of the pest and the cost of the pheromone off-set investment in other control products.”

Gracie Emeny, knowledge exchange manager at AHDB Horticulture, added, “We thought Tuta absoluta was under control but it came back with a vengeance in the 2016 season after developing resistance to one of the key plant protection products used in integrated pest management programmes. This is a brilliant breakthrough for the industry but we would stress the need for careful use to make sure this control option stays available to growers for the long term.”

Further work is now underway at University of Exeter, to study the impact of the technique on female moth reproduction.

Photo Caption: Tuta absoluta

Photo Credit: Rob Jackson / AHDB Horticulture

The post New mating disruption technique offers hope for Tuta absoluta control appeared first on Hort News.

Mechanisation could be future for apple growers

Adopting fruit-wall orchards instead of traditional systems could make mechanical pruning of apple trees easier and reduce costs according to AHDB Horticulture.

Increasing labour costs and uncertainties about future labour availability means that many growers are looking for ways to reduce their reliance on human labour. Modern intensive orchards are already simpler and easier to prune than traditional ones but can still require 25-40 hours of labour per hectare. In fruit-wall orchards, mechanical pruning work rates vary between 1.5 and 2.5 hours per hectare, so even though some hand-pruning will be needed, there is potential to save around £3,000 per hectare over an orchard’s 15-year life.

AHDB Horticulture has spent the last four years investigating the tree types and pruning regimes most suitable for use in a fruit-wall orchard in the UK in two projects and has now generated a number of recommendations about the timing of pruning.

Scott Raffle, Knowledge Exchange Manager at AHDB Horticulture, said, “The results from these projects could have a really positive impact on fruit growers and we look forward to sharing these results, and other research project updates, with our growers.”

An update from the research projects will be presented at the AHDB/EMR Association Tree Fruit Conference, which takes place on 28 February at NIAB EMR in Kent.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

The post Mechanisation could be future for apple growers appeared first on Hort News.

Effective controls for apple canker identified

Two new fungicides have been identified for the control of apple canker, caused by the fungus Neonectria ditissima, while research into integrated pest management of the disease is also providing promising results.

Canker is one of the most important diseases of apple and pear, causing cankers and dieback of young shoots, as well as fruit rot that can result in losses as high as ten per cent or more in stored fruit. In a two-year AHDB Horticulture funded trial examining control of Neonectria fruit rot, a range of experimental fungicides, a biofungicide and several alternative chemical treatments were tested for effectiveness. During the trials, fungicides Delan Pro and Syllit 400SC were found to be effective at reducing the incidence of fruit rot.

A five-year IPM study, also commissioned by AHDB Horticulture, is looking at how apple canker spreads. The project aims to identify an approach to reduce losses during tree establishment by targeting infection at propagation phase and improving the efficacy of orchard control.

Mark Holden, from Adrian Scripps Ltd is an industry representative of the project. He commented, “Losses of trees due to canker have risen significantly over the last 10 years due to more intensive tree planting, particularly with more susceptible varieties such as Gala, Braeburn, Kanzi & Jazz.

“The main issue is the lack of systemic chemical products in the growing season which are effective so it is encouraging that some new chemistry is coming through. It is hoped that, after the registration process is completed for these new products, the label requirements are not too restrictive.”

Photo Caption: Neonectria ditissima

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

The post Effective controls for apple canker identified appeared first on Hort News.

AHDB & BPOA plan Canadian study trip

After the success of its previous transatlantic study tour to the United States in 2015, AHDB Horticulture, The Bedding and Pot Plant Centre and The British Protected Ornamentals Association (BPOA) are now organising a two week study tour to Canada.

According to AHDB, ‘The study tour has been designed to share with growers the latest products, technical innovation, news and research from Canada and to identify potential new commercial opportunities for UK growers.’ As well as visits to nurseries and the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, the trip will include the Canadian Greenhouse Conference in Niagra Falls in October.

A provisional itinerary and estimate costs are available on the AHDB Horticulture website and further details will be posted if there is sufficient interest. ‘The overall objective is to offer growers an opportunity to learn from the Canadian ornamentals industry in order to help identify new product ideas and technical innovation that can be implemented back in the UK,’ according to AHDB.

Photo Caption: Previous study tour to the US

Photo Credit: BPOA / NFU

The post AHDB & BPOA plan Canadian study trip appeared first on Hort News.

AHDB calls for studentship proposals

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is inviting applications for a slice of £1 million in funding for postgraduate studentships.

A call for proposals for up to 15 PhDs has been issued to UK universities, colleges and research institutes as part of work to develop a new tranche of agricultural and horticultural scientific expertise. The funding supplied by AHDB equates to £70,500 per studentship, which can be split over three or four years, and this is the first time that studentships in every AHDB sector have received the same level of funding.

Applicants must detail how the proposed research will help meet the priorities of one or more of the six levy sectors – Beef & Lamb, Cereals & Oilseeds, Dairy, Horticulture, Pork and Potatoes. They must also demonstrate how projects will deliver useful and relevant research outcomes.

AHDB’s Kim Matthews, who chairs the studentship programme, said, “Once again we are seeking the best and brightest of the UK’s scientific talent to bring innovative research ideas to the table. We want to see practical, applied scientific solutions to the challenges facing industry, whether affecting one particular sector or with applications across the piece.”

Photo Credit: AHDB

The post AHDB calls for studentship proposals appeared first on Hort News on 15 July 2016.

New AHDB board members

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has appointed five new members to its specialist sector boards, including Dr Louise Sutherland who joins the Horticulture Sector Board and Reuben Collins for the Potato Sector Board.

All the new members were recruited through open competition with selection made on merit. All five members began a three-year term in office effective from 1 April 2016. Tom Hind, Chief Strategy Officer of AHDB, commented, “These new members have a wealth of experience in their relevant sectors as well as a passion for the industry that is crucial to these roles. We look forward to them making a valuable contribution to the organisation.”

Dr Louise Sutherland brings more than 25 years of experience in the fresh produce and soft fruit sectors including stints at Marks and Spencer, and a PhD in plant pathology. She is also Chair of the Red Tractor Fresh Produce Scheme and a member of the Assured Food Standards Board. She currently chairs the Raspberry Breeding Consortium which is part funded by AHDB Horticulture.

Reuben Collins is a farmer in a family farming partnership which rears beef and grows potatoes and cereals in Cornwall. After studying agriculture at Duchy College, Reuben worked in the Eastern counties with potatoes, onions and cereals followed by farming early potatoes in Cornwall.

Photo Credit: AHDB

The post New AHDB board members appeared first on Hort News.

AHDB Horticulture looking for panel members

AHDB Horticulture is looking for growers or their technical staff willing to become members of its Panels which help the levy body channel funds into research and development and knowledge transfer activities which are relevant and fully supported by growers.

Each Panel is made up of elected members (growers or technical staff within larger businesses) who directly represent the interests of the horticultural industry, together with scientific advisors who underpin the quality of project proposals brought to the Panels for funding.

To be eligible for election, candidates must belong to a horticultural levy paying business (either as the levy paying owner or an employee). Elected panel members will sit on the panel for a three year period starting on 1 January following their election. During their term of office, members must remain a levy payer (or a payroll employee of a levy payer) and members may stand for a maximum of two consecutive three year terms (i.e. six years in total).

The Panels cover the following crop sectors: Field Vegetables; Hardy Nursery Stock; Protected Ornamentals and Bulbs and Outdoor Flowers; Protected Edibles and Mushrooms; Soft Fruit and Tree Fruit (including stone fruit). Each Panel represent industry views and the interests of all growers and makes recommendations for project funding and provide a rapid response to urgent industry needs, as well as other activities.

To view the full eligibility criteria, learn more about the operations and code of conduct for panel members, or to apply, visit http://horticulture.ahdb.org.uk/panel.

The post AHDB Horticulture looking for panel members appeared first on Hort News.

AHDB rebrand includes HDC and Potato Council

New branding and a proposed new way of working for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) have been formally launched at the Cereals event in Lincolnshire last week.

The move, which was first announced in January, will see AHDB’s sector-focused activity delivered under six brands: AHDB Beef and Lamb, AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds, AHDB Dairy, AHDB Horticulture, AHDB Pork and AHDB Potatoes. Cross sector projects will be delivered as AHDB.

Speaking at the launch, AHDB Chair Peter Kendall stressed that sector specialisms would continue as part of the new plan: “Key to our new way of functional working will be retaining sector expertise and the input of AHDB’s Sector Boards. We will also continue to ensure that levies raised in a sector will be spent for the benefit of that sector.

“Our role is to help put a number of building blocks in place to support the future growth of a competitive farming industry. By working together, sharing expertise and skills across our organisation, I know that AHDB can build on the excellent work it is already providing for all our levy payers.”

The main AHDB Board has also agreed to start a reorganisation of AHDB’s senior team into wider functional roles. This is to drive collective delivery of activity in five areas covering industry strategy, technical, communications and market development, finance and HR.

This post first appeared on HortNews.