Practical findings from AHDB trials, plus summaries of academic research and scientific trials, compiled by Dr Ken Cockshull.

Science in brief – November 2023

A new study examines how city-grown crop yields compare to conventional, rural counterparts (Credit: Roots in the City Community Garden in Liverpool)

‘Urban crops can have higher yields than conventional farming’

Some city crops – like cucumbers, potatoes and lettuces – yield at least twice as much as their rural counterparts, a new study finds.

Credit: M&S

M&S and AgriSound join forces to boost pollinator activity on British farms

The high street retailer and York-based AgriSound have teamed up on an in-field sensor trial to help farmers with pollinator management to maintain quality of produce and improve crop yields.

Staycations are on the rise (Credit: Pixabay)

10 ways Britons coped with the cost-of-living crisis this summer, according to Barclaycard

From re-using back-to-school items to starting side projects, new data from Barclaycard reveals the changing spending habits of Brits to make their money go further during the cost-of-living crisis.

Credit: UniversalImagesGroup c/o Getty Images

Dementia risk slashed by gardening, says study

Gardening can reduce the risk of dementia as the exercise involved may keep the brain healthy, says a new study conducted by the UK Biobank.

Credit: Alfredo Francisco Nunes Ribeiro/EyeEm c/o Getty Images

DEFRA publishes review of automation in horticulture

The ‘Automation in horticulture review’ argues for the need to reduce the seasonal labour needs of horticulture through increased adoption and accelerated innovation of automation, agritech and robotic technologies.

Rob Appleby (Credit: The Cibus funds)

‘Perfect storm’ of crises is hitting food and farming, says food expert

It is time to invest in natural capital and agrifood tech as a solution to food insecurity in times of conflict and inflation, says the founder of the Cibus funds.

X-ray micro-computed tomography scan image of Morex (wild-type) and EGT1 (mutant) roots in soil, showing differences in root growth angle. Credit: Dr Riccardo Fusi

Designing roots could help carbon storage in soil

Scientists have discovered how to potentially design root systems to grow deeper by altering their angle growth to be steeper and reach the nutrients they require for growth.

Science into Practice - European apple canker control

Improving the control and management of European apple canker caused by Neonectria ditissima continues to be one of the principal research aims for the AHDB tree fruit sector.

Science into Practice - Bacterial blotch in mushrooms

Science into Practice - Downy mildew and cut flowers

Science into Practice - Aphid controls in strawberries

Science into Practice - Tomato and pepper virus