Practical findings from Horticultural Development Council trial, plus summaries of academic research and scientific trials, compiled by Dr Ken Cockshull.
Precision-farming technology that uses canopy sensors to measure variability in crop growth to vary the application of nitrogen fertiliser has the potential to raise yields and improve uniformity. A crop with a well-developed thick canopy will typically have a different nitrogen requirement to one with a canopy that is less developed.
Larger blueberry bushes have significantly greater potential yields. Accurate nitrogen application is important to encourage growth. However, clear recommendations on the level of nitrogen required are not currently available.
Applying nematode treatments for vine weevil control at reduced rates through overhead irrigation systems over a period of time, rather than targeted high-volume drenches, is as reliable and potentially more cost-effective, according to latest research.
PE 029 Protected tomato: Evaluation of biological treatments, biocides and an improved diagnostic for control of root mat disease.
Adjusting the light wavelengths and intensity of LEDs can improve crop yields and quality, according to latest research findings.
FV 439 Cucurbits: Identifying pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest management practices capable of reducing losses of pumpkins during storage.
Canker, caused by the fungus Neonectria ditissima, is one of the most important diseases of apple and pear, causing cankers and die back of young shoots and a fruit rot that can result in significant losses as high as 10% or more in stored fruit.
PE 024: Basil - Improving knowledge and control of downy mildew in protected and outdoor crops
UK poinsettia growers have traditionally relied on relatively few varieties. Infinity accounts for about 80 per cent of the national crop, the remainder made up by varieties such as Christmas Feeling, Christmas Glory, Prima and Titan.
A serious pest of all brassica crops, diamondback moth (DBM) has a very rapid life cycle, particularly at warm temperatures, which contributes to its potential to develop insecticide resistance.
The majority of container-grown hardy nursery stock in the UK receives some form of controlled-release fertiliser as a source of longer-term nutrition.
Soil is one of the most important assets a grower has and improving its health is fundamental to the agronomic and financial sustainability of horticultural enterprises.
A recently completed Defra Horticulture LINK Project (HL01107-SF 120) demonstrated that commercial control of western flower thrips (WFT) in strawberry can be obtained through early and continued releases of the predatory mite Neoseiulus cucumeris in conjunction with Stratiolaelaps scimitus mites and Orius bugs during the summer months while employing an IPM programme that avoids crop-protection products harmful to these predators.
PC 281b Tomato: Micro-organisms in the irrigation water of hydroponic crops grown in closed systems.
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