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NIAB and Cereals 2008 – Connecting Plant Science

01 June 2008

Connecting Plant Science is the key theme of NIAB’s attendance at Cereals 2008 this week where skilled staff will demonstrate their innovative research and crop work.

The Cambridge-based Institute will again share a plot with the John Innes Centre from Norwich as collaborative projects form an integral part of their successful approach.

Cereals 2008 is the leading technical event for the arable industry and is a firm fixture on NIAB’s calendar each year. A dozen leading scientists and crop specialists will attend the show at Heath Farm, Leadenham, near Lincoln on 11 and 12 June.

NIAB will demonstrate pulse varieties in conjunction with the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) and highlight its research activities, particularly its partnership with JIC. It will also demonstrate an element of field research investigating variety characters for sustainable production.

Prof Andy Greenland, head of Plant Genetics, Breeding and Evaluation, said Cereals 2008 enabled NIAB to demonstrate its cutting edge pre-breeding and genetic diversity, as well as its valued alliances, among the agricultural industry.

“We have an alliance with JIC on wheat pre-breeding and last year we invited them to join us on the plot at Cereals and they put together a very interesting display which I thought added value to what we were trying to do,” he said.

“So this year we have come up with a joint demonstration which goes one step further, it really shows how we are working together, how we address the same issues and how our research programmes complement each other.

“What we will display this year is the genetic diversity in wheat that eventually makes it into the wheat plants that are grown in the fields, and how that diversity is used by breeders to give the new characters that make wheat what it is, such as yield, grain quality and disease resistance.”

NIAB crop specialists can also be found at the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) plot where they were involved in growing the plots and will also work alongside (HGCA) to demonstrate recommended list varieties and candidates on a range of species.

NIAB will also highlight its specialised field trials service on crops including cereals, pulses, oilseeds, potatoes, sugar beet, field vegetables, grasses, maize, fodder and non-food crops. This is carried out at its eight centres based around the major agricultural areas of England.

The NIAB Association Membership Scheme will be promoted too. This service offers members access to valuable information that has been analysed and interpreted by NIAB's technical staff.

For many of the thousands of farmers and industry experts who visit Cereals, their visit is not complete without stopping at the NIAB stand for technical advice, bacon rolls and a coffee Staff there will be giving out informative Connecting Plant Science business cards which highlight the world leading services offered by NIAB.

“It is a very important event for us and our visitors make lots of comments about looking for NIAB and the NIAB flags, they expect to see us there. We are very much looking forward to seeing them again, as well as welcoming many new visitors,” added Prof Greenland.

For further information contact: Prof Andy Greenland