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AHDB launch four new Strategic Centres for field vegetable crops

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According to AHDB, field vegetable producers will benefit from four new centres that will demonstrate the latest horticultural research in practice. The newly launched AHDB Horticulture’s Strategic Centres for Field Vegetables will showcase the latest ideas, science and technology to improve integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.

The four sites, which are located across the UK, will specifically focus on carrots, peas, onions and brassicas, building on the success of AHDB’s variety trial programme.

Dr Dawn Teverson, Knowledge Exchange Manager at AHDB, said, “This is a great opportunity for us to show research in practice to encourage the industry to adopt new ideas. And it’s also an important way for us to work in partnership with growers to run demonstration trials showcasing solutions to the issues and challenges that are most pressing for them.”

Trials in the four centres will cover a range of topics to support IPM programmes, including; timing fungicide applications based on disease monitoring and forecasting, testing novel plant protection products, and developing an app to create UK pest distribution maps.

In addition to the established variety evaluation trials, further trials for 2019 include drilling depths and crop establishment for carrots and crop spacing to produce the required bulb size for onions.

Martin Evans, Managing Director at Freshgro and chair of AHDB’s Field Vegetable Panel, added, “The demonstration trials and events will look at the whole crop management, from nutrients, water use, to pest management and will help the industry improve productivity.”

Picture caption: Growers looking at carrot varieties at open day in Yorkshire in August 2019

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