Top billing for nutrient delivery & insect management at NIAB soft fruit technical webinar

12 Oct 2022

New research and advice on nutrient delivery, microclimate management, yield prediction systems and pest management all feature in NIAB’s annual Soft Fruit Technical Webinar on 30th November, with places available to book now.

Free and open to all from across the soft fruit industry, the event will be once again held online due to the high levels of interest from UK and international audiences.

The feature presentations come from NIAB’s extensive research work at its Water Efficient Technologies, or WET, Centre at East Malling, in Kent. The Centre focuses on establishing and demonstrating best practice growing systems for the UK soft fruit industry, including polytunnels.

NIAB will also provide updates on the comprehensive information emanating from ongoing Spotted Wing Drosophila research alongside novel research to improve management and control of aphids and thrips in soft fruit crops. Recent performance of NIAB’s new Malling™ strawberry and raspberry varieties will also be presented plus studies on raspberry root rot and year-round strawberry production including light optimisation.

NIAB Knowledge Exchange manager Scott Raffle, commented, “Presenting it on a virtual platform has proved popular over the past few years, with a larger audience drawn from all parts of the UK and abroad. I encourage everyone with an interest in soft fruit production to attend, to keep abreast of some really exciting new findings in a range of research and demonstration projects being managed by NIAB at East Malling and elsewhere.”

NIAB Soft Fruit Technical Webinar
30th November
9.45am to 3.30pm



NIAB Soft Fruit Technical Webinar Programme

09.45   Introduction and welcome

Session 1: WET Centre Research Activities
09:55   Tunnel microclimate and other research at The WET Centre (Trevor Wignall, NIAB)
10:15   SMART Fert – Refining nutrient delivery systems (Carlotta Gonzalez-Noguer, NIAB)
10:30   Berry Predictor – Technology to predict Class 1 yields (Mark Else, NIAB)
10:45   Progress towards recycled coir media in soft fruit  (Matevz Papp-Rupar, NIAB)
11:00   Break

Session 2: Crop Protection and Growing Kent & Medway Update
11:15   Research into Phytophthora root rot in raspberry (Eithne Browne, NIAB)
11:25   Improved methods for monitoring thrips in strawberry (Andrew Gladman, ADAS)
11:40   Employing parasitoids in aphid control strategies (Celine Silva, NIAB)
11:55   Attracting and retaining hoverflies in soft fruit crops (Adam Walker, NIAB)
12:10   Growing Kent & Medway sustainable production, products and packaging (Robert Saville, NIAB)
12:25   Lunch break

Session 3: New Developments in Spotted Wing Drosophila Control
13:20   Progress on use of adjuvants as bait sprays for SWD (Clare Sampson, NIAB)
13:35   Impact of SWD bait sprays on beneficial insects (Bethan Shaw, NIAB)
13:50   Further progress with sterile insect technique for SWD control (Glen Slade, BigSis)
14:05   Oviposition deterrent for SWD (Trisna Tungadi, Keele University)
14:20   Working towards SWD resistance in strawberry and raspberry (Adam Whitehouse, NIAB)
14:35   Break

Session 4: Crop manipulation and variety development
14:50   Towards year-round production of UK strawberries (Sophie Read, University of Reading)
15:00   Optimising light recipes for strawberry (Winnie Swann, University of Reading)
15:10   Update on performance of Malling™ Fruits varieties (Alin Borleanu, NIAB)
15:30   Close