An independent assessment of the value of research taking place at crop science organisation NIAB has revealed an 18-fold return on investment to the wider UK economy.
The economic impact report, by Donald Webb of Brookdale Consulting, concluded that for every £1 spent on research at NIAB, at least £17.60 is returned to the UK economy through improved production efficiency, economic growth, import substitution, export earnings and inward investment.
Start-up agritech businesses will have access to new work and research facilities, alongside business support opportunities, with the development of Barn4, a purpose-built facility on the outskirts of Cambridge.
The invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has been intercepted using a pheromone trap at the RSPB’s Rainham Marshes nature reserve in Essex, one of the monitoring sites.
The research programme, using a network of synthetically-produced sex pheromone lure hung from a tree, is being managed by scientists at NIAB EMR, the horticultural research institute based at East Malling in Kent.
The agreement gives NIAB EMR immediate worldwide control and management of all current and future marketing and licensing rights for the varieties which to date had been managed by Meiosis. Instead, the parties will together explore licencing opportunities in countries further afield, not currently growing varieties from the Malling berry breeding programmes. To support this transition, Meiosis will continue the role of royalty collection for a fixed period of time.
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.