The impact that that knowledge base together with other Horticulture Research International successors have had over the years is noted in the latest report from the National Horticultural Forum, which continues to argue for a coherent, properly funded and joined-up horticultural research pipeline (page 6). The study, which examines the uptake of research-led innovation by growers in the strawberry and brassica sectors, is a timely reminder of the huge contribution R&D has made to UK horticulture. In the case of strawberries it has helped production to more than double from the mid 1990s to 2008.
The pioneering work of Haygrove on tunnel structures has, of course, been absolutely key to that particular success, but innovations in other areas such as crop protection and genetics have been critical too. On their source, the report notes: "In both the strawberry and brassica cases, it is striking how many of the innovations in crop protection and genetics have involved the input of the institutions of Horticulture Research International and its predecessors and successors, whose funding came primarily from Defra and who have been subject to significant shrinkage and organisational change as this source of public funding declined."