Weather data helps select ideal flowering brassica varieties for different growing regions

John Innes Centre and weather forecasting service Weatherquest are collaborating on a project to relate weather patterns to maturing of field vegetables.

Jim Bacon - image:Weatherquest
Jim Bacon - image:Weatherquest

Data from Weatherquest is currently being used by Judith Irwin, researcher in crop genetics at the John Innes Centre, in a research project aimed at improving resilience within production  horticulture.

The main focus of the research is helping crops adapt to climate change, but the science can help build resistance to temperature variations too.

Weatherquest managing director Jim Bacon said: "Flowering brassicas such as cauliflower and broccoli require vernalization to trigger the flowering mechanism.  This varies between species and by examining the temperatures required by different varieties to vernalize, you can select those that need different periods of cold to flower."

Mean winter temperatures from 1961 to 2006 show that Cornwall on average enjoys winter temperatures 2°C higher than Lincolnshire - information which can be used to prolong the flowering period by selecting varieties that vernalize at different temperatures, he explained.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

At a debate during last week's Fruit Focus trade show in Kent, senior industry figures painted a bleak picture of an increasingly difficult seasonal labour market that is already impacting on investment.