A report by 2016 Nuffield Scholar Jan Redpath of Angus Soft Fruits suggests that late season cherry production could provide a lucrative crop for Scottish growers prepared to invest in suitable production methods.
In Cherries: the late season opportunity, Mr Redpath argues that, ‘Late season cherries can be produced successfully and profitably in climates as demanding as Scotland’s.’ His conclusion comes after visiting growers in Chile, New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Canada and Norway, as well as closer to home in the UK and the Netherlands.
“Visits to Norway and Tasmania in particular showed that climatic adversity can be overcome with robust covering methods,” he explained. “Ongoing research in Europe and North America is likely to lead to better later varieties. I additionally noted that storage techniques exist that enable ‘not so late’ varieties of known potential to give a safe option to season extension.”
Mr Redpath added, “We should not be afraid to grow cherries under covering systems developed specifically for cherries – these have been proven in some demanding climates. New entrants to late cherry production must pay great attention to the pruning requirements, especially during tree formation. It’s vital to decide on a system prior to establishing the plantation, with an end in mind at that point. Lastly, we can grow great varieties that are known to work, and also store them well. This can be better than growing the very latest variety that may have other lesser characteristics and may not store so well.”
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
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NFU vice-president Guy Smith clashed with WWF-UK’s food policy manager Duncan Williamson at last week’s Nuffield Conference.
In a panel debate, Mr Smith commented, “We pick up some bad habits from the green NGOs who have something to sell when it comes to spreading bad news. I’ve got no issue with this but the WWF like to point to the things we haven’t got on our farms in terms of wildlife and frequently ignore what we have got. That sometimes irritates me.”
In response, Mr Williamson stressed that 60 per cent of biodiversity loss worldwide can be linked to agriculture and food systems and disagreed that it did not recognise good environmental actions by farmers. “We celebrate the good farmers, we work with farmers all over the world,” he said. “We work with farmers in East Anglia and with farmers along the River Itchen who are doing fantastic work to get the chalk streams back up to a really good level.”
Photo Credit: NFU
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The Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust has announced a new award aimed at the horticultural sector.
Sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners the unique award aims to promote education within horticulture by giving an individual the opportunity to research a key issue and make long term change within the industry.
Mike Vacher, Nuffield Farming director explained that the opportunity offers a carefully selected, well-respected individual the chance to make a valuable contribution to a subject of key importance to the UK horticultural industry and society at large. “This is an exciting and positive development for the Nuffield Farming Trust and promises to give the industry valuable insights into global trends and opportunities for UK farmers,” he said.
Bruce Harnett, who studied intensive horticulture for his 2014 Nuffield Scholarship added, “We work in a fast changing global sector, and this opportunity offers a suitable candidate, the chance to broaden their horizons, appreciate the complexity of the industry, witness new and alternative ways in which to succeed, and gain confidence in the way they work in the sector. I would highly recommend individuals to apply.”
Anyone aged between 25 and 45 is encouraged to apply, with a pre-requisite that you must work within the United Kingdom horticulture or related industry.
Photo Caption: Mike Vacher
Photo Credit: Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust
The post Nuffield announce new award for horticulture appeared first on Hort News on 29 June 2016.