Over 125 different crop and variety plots had been planned on the stand, providing a backdrop to the latest technical advice and research in variety choice, independent agronomy, soil and rotation management, crop genetics and data science. The variety demonstration area includes 32 winter wheat and 24 winter oilseed rape varieties, either already established on the AHDB 2020/21 Recommended List or candidates.
NIAB technical director Bill Clark and crop variety specialists Bruce Napier, Simon Kightley, Hannah Parish and Cheryl Turnbull considered 100 years of non-cereal varieties from the horticulture and agriculture sector and assessed them in terms of agronomic value, market influence and lasting impact, most notably in their use in plant breeding programmes.
The varieties Smoothi CS and Abrisse from Caussade Semences, Prospect from Limagrain, LiRoyal from DSV and KWS Calvini from KWS are all new entrants onto the Favourable Sites DL.
The Less Favourable DL, aimed at 'marginal' growing conditions, sees the addition of six new varieties - KWS Calvini, Prospect, LiRoyal, RGT Stewaxx from RAGT Seeds, and DSP 46132 and Cardif from Germinal.
NIAB technical director Bill Clark, plant breeder Dr Phil Howell, and cereal variety specialist Clare Leaman considered 100 years of cereal varieties grown in the UK and assessed them in terms of agronomic value, market influence and lasting impact, most notably in their use in plant breeding programmes.
Already a senior research associate at NIAB CUF Dr Stalham takes up his new role with immediate effect, guiding the overall scientific direction, development and management of NIAB CUF’s activities, including knowledge exchange. He will continue to have close involvement with the executive committee of the Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association (CUPGRA), which funds and supplies industry support for potato research.
NIAB has jointly managed the centre, which first opened in 2009, with Pearce Seeds for the past twelve months. NIAB takes full control, with immediate effect, of the trials delivery business. The centre, along with its satellite trials sites across the south-west, includes over 4,000 arable and forage crop plots, covering levy board and industry-funded variety, agronomy and demonstration trials.
Dr Aradottir will be developing NIAB’s research into plant-pest interactions in cereal and other combinable crops. This includes studying aphid resistance in wheat from a diverse background, working with NIAB plant breeders in identifying beneficial traits that can be translated from wild relatives into commercial varieties, further advancing the institute’s work in working with industry to deliver new sources of wheat genetic innovation onto farm.Dr Gia Aradottir
The latest crop of potato growers have graduated from the MacFry Potato Academy, the specialist agronomy and management industry training course.
The Academy is a joint initiative between NIAB and McDonald’s UK and Ireland, in association with potato suppliers McCain Foods and Lamb Weston, aimed at the 209 farmers that supply the potatoes for McDonald's iconic Fries, served within their 1,400 restaurants across the UK.