The new funding opportunity is aimed at generating a comprehensive soils research and knowledge transfer programme that directly addresses areas of concern identified by a previously undertaken HDC gap analysis project (CP 107).
The gap analysis found data, compaction, soil-borne diseases, organic matter, precision tools, soil health measurement and monitoring to be key areas requiring further development.
HDC hopes the final programme of work, comprising of up to 10 projects, will directly address some of these areas. Successful projects may be ‘stand-alone’, or additions to existing or future research programmes funded elsewhere.
HDC has specified that outputs from the programme must be the production and communication of best practice guidelines for growers.
It is interested in receiving expressions of interest that focus on horticultural crops either alone or in arable/non arable rotations; have findings that can be implemented immediately or over 2-5 year timeframe; take into consideration needs arising from past or current HDC projects; and exploit or translate other soil research programmes.
This funding package has been developed taking into account other currently active UK research activity for soils including the Soil Security Programme , SARIC (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Innovation Club), SARISA (Soil and Rhizosphere Interactions for Sustainable Agri-Ecosystems), HAPI (Horticulture and Potatoes Initiative), Agri- tech, and TSB.
The deadline for receipt of submissions is 1 August 2014. For the full tender documents, and how to apply visit www.hdc.org.uk/tenders