NIAB Landmark: Issue 54 - Winter 2023/24

1 Feb 2024
Landmark is NIAB's corporate publication, published three times a year, featuring in-depth technical articles on all aspects of NIAB crop research, comment and advice.

Available to all - access the online flip-book and downloadable PDF versions of Issue 54 - Winter 2023/24.

NIAB Landmark: Winter 2023/24

In this issue:

  • Weathering the perfect storm? Freshly back from the Oxford Farming Conference NIAB CEO Mario Caccamo looks at the impact of climate change on food and farming and the critical role of agricultural innovation in achieving food security and climate goals sustainably, but also warning that policy and practice change needs to be supported by solid scientific research.
  • New cereal and break crop varieties - Clare Leaman and Colin Peters introduce the new cereals, pulses and oilseeds varieties that have made the Recommended and Descriptive List from the AHDB and PGRO, highlighting the ones to watch and summarising their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Hybrid wheat breeding - future global food security will require new approaches to ensure that crop production is maintained given finite arable land availability, the desire to reduce crop inputs and the challenges presented by a changing climate. One technology to improve wheat yields and overall crop resilience is an F1 hybrid plant breeding system writes Matt Milner and Phil Howell.
  • IPM for wheat diseases - cereal fungicide strategies must consider a myriad of factors, and this is where NIAB comes into its own says Aoife O'Driscoll. She outlines the organisation's pathogen diagnostic and disease surveillance tools, independent efficacy trials data and weekly agronomic updates that can provide guidance as the season progresses.
  • Innovating for a profitable fruit sector - Growing Kent & Medway's Lauren Colagiovanni summarises how NIAB is using cutting-edge research techniques to offer a lifeline for a fruit growing sector under increasing threat from rising costs. The innovations being developed in genetics and pests and disease management could also make our food production systems more sustainable.
  • Using artificial intelligence for variety identification - Ji Zhou, Rob Jackson and Felipe Pinheiro outline some of the ways the AI & Data Science team at NIAB is utilising AI to identify varieties based on photos as part of the One CGIAR Seed Equal Initiative, including training crop inspectors in Ethiopia on taking variety images.
  • Stuart Knight, Lydia Smith and Jasmine Toole introduce the Centre for High Carbon Capture Cropping (CHCx3), aiming to help UK farmers and growers target Net Zero and build farming resilience through diversifying their arable and forage cropping, including new revenue sources through a carbon marketplace and support enhanced value chains for industries such as textiles and construction. Ellie Sweetman highlights the opportunities for increasing carbon capture in different types of agricultural grasslands.
  • Optimising plant spacing for narrow row crops with Eric Ober and Will Smith summarises Innovate UK-funded research by NIAB and ADAS and grower David Passmore into the potential of precision drilling in arable crops in improving yield, weed and disease control.
  • Colin Peters updates growers on NIAB's continued research on autumn cultivation timing on cabbage stem flea beetle emergence.
  • And our 'Discovering Agritech' feature returns with a spotlight on Barn4 member Petiole and Growing Kent & Medway partner Verdant Cardon.

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