Awards in the fresh produce sector include:
- VerticalVale (Saturn Bioponics, ValeFresco): an assessment of the viability of the Saturn Grower vertical growing system in commercial farming, with particular focus on pak choi;
- Improving hydroponic production using new online nitrate sensor (Sharp Laboratories, Lincolnshire Herbs, APS Salads, May Barn Horticultural Consultancy): development of better control over nitrate use using new sensor to allow continuous monitoring, so minimising its use and discharge.
- Third generation polyethylene greenhouse cladding materials (British Polythene Industries, Haygrove Tunnels, Berry Gardens, Finlays Horticulture (Kenya), A Schulman, University of Reading, University of Lincoln, East Malling Research): development of a range of novel spectrally modified greenhouse film cladding materials for yield and quality gains, the reduction of solar heat load and potential reductions in pest incidence.
- Application of general repellents against agricultural pests (Russell IPM, Russell IPM Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural Uni, East Malling Research, University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute): proof of concept that volatile, repellent chemicals can reduce damage to agricultural crops by a range of insect pests, in both developed and developing countries.
- Early attractants for the major new fruit pest, Drosophila suzukii (Berry Garden Growers, Real IPM, East Malling Research, University of Greenwich): improved monitoring and timing of pesticide application against D. suzukii via a more species-specific attractant.
Life sciences minister George Freeman MP said: "By harnessing science to reduce water and pesticide usage, and to pioneer greener modern farming, the UK is leading the way in boosting agricultural productivity.
"Investing in pioneering agri-tech projects like these is win-win for the UK as these technologies will improve food production and create businesses and jobs up and down the country."