Our comprehensive research and development programme is designed to match soft fruit growers’ highest priorities.
Our crop protection team work with CRD and the agrochemical industry to deliver new EAMUs and emergency authorisations to coincide with crucial losses of crop protection products. Our SCEPTREplus programme funds screening trials to identify new and alternative products which provide improved control of insect pests, diseases and weeds. Our ongoing IPM research programmes focus on growers’ pressing needs including novel control methods for spotted wing drosophila, thrips, capsids, aphids and Phytophthora in strawberry and capsids, spider mites and midges in cane fruit. Additional research in blackcurrants is looking at bud break, weed control, gall mite and leaf spot, with some small studies in blueberry on bud break and Phytophthora.
We part-fund the East Malling Strawberry breeding programme which has released varieties such as Malling Centenary, Malling Allure and Malling Champion, whilst similarly funding the UK raspberry breeding programme at the James Hutton Institute which has recently released Glen Mor, Skye and Lewis. Our part-funding of The WET Centre at East Malling allows us to demonstrate much of our past research on water use efficiency, disease control using these new varieties.
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