NIAB Soft Fruit Day - 30 November 23

Technical webinar on soft fruit research

Thursday 30 November 2023
9.20am – 2.40pm


This year’s annual soft fruit day will be presented by NIAB as a virtual event to provide the industry with the latest results of a wide range of research projects led by NIAB and other researchers. The event will include novel approaches to pest and disease control, the impact of habitat management on beneficial insects, strawberry and cane fruit variety development, and resource use efficiency. Delegates will also learn about new research into digital crop management, coir recycling and how Growing Kent & Medway is supporting new food businesses.


09:20  Introduction and welcome

Session 1: New Developments and Resource Use (1hr 15)

09:30 Introducing Growing Kent & Medway and The Food Accelerator Programme (Jamilla Mohammed, Philip Doubleday and Lauren Colagiovanni)
09:45 Developing digital crop management technology (Charles Whitfield, NIAB)
10:00 Latest developments in coir recycling (Mat Papp-Rupar, NIAB)
10:15 Optimising strawberry yield potential for Total Controlled Environment Agriculture Systems (Mark Else, NIAB)
10:30 Matching nitrogen supply to demand in raspberry (Carlota Gonzalez-Noguer, NIAB)

10:45 Break

Session 2: Variety updates and novel approaches to disease control (1hr 15)

11:00 The efficacy of biocontrol agents for disease control in strawberry (Mat Papp-Rupar, NIAB)
11:20 Breeding raspberries and blackberries for today’s market (Feli Fernandez, NIAB)
11:35 Recent experiences with Malling Fruits’ varieties (Alin Borleanu, NIAB)
11:50 Identifying genes that confer resistance to strawberry powdery mildew (Samantha Lynn, NIAB)
12:00 Predicting the risk of Mucor and Rhizopus (Tom Passey, NIAB)

12:15 Lunch break

Session 3: Developments in soft fruit pest control and pollinators (1hr 40)

13:00   Understanding aphid resistance to biocontrol (Laura Martinez-Chavez, Harper Adams University)
13:10   Developing IPM approaches to aphid, capsid and thrips control (Scott Raffle, NIAB)
13:30   The role of landscape complexity on abundance of predators and pollinators (Francis Wamonje, NIAB)
13:45 Wildflower mixes dedicated to soft fruit pollination (Sarah Arnold, NIAB)
14:00 Microbial signal can influence spotted wing drosophila egg laying (Fardina Rahimi, University of Southampton)
14:10 The impact of SWD bait sprays on non-target insects (Michelle Fountain, NIAB)
14:25 Latest results with sterile insect technique for SWD control (Glen Slade, BigSis)

14:40 Close