Studentships totalling £1.4m to provide practical research on pressing issues in farming have been announced by levy body umbrella the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
Among the 19 three- to four-year PhD projects, which will start next year, are ten relating to horticulture, namely:
- Investigatiion into the cause and potential treatment of declining coriander yield (Newcastle University)
- Mechanisms and management of curcubit pollination to optimise field crop quality and quantity (Exeter University)
- Sensor-based pre-symptomatic detection of pests and pathogens for the precision scheduling of crop protection products (Lancaster University)
- Understanding the impact on insects of biocontrol agents on the leaf surface (Reading University)
- Increased precision of inputs through better understanding of the causes of in-field variation in crop maturity and yield (Harper Adams University)
- Identification of viral pathogens suitable for controlling the fruit crop pest Drosophila suzukii (Edinburgh University)
- Exploitation of new information about resistance and genome sequences to improve the control of light leaf spot in brassicas (Hertfordshire University)
- Understanding the persistence, transformation and fate of CIPC (Chlorpropham) in commercial potato stores to help guard against cross-contamination (Glasgow University)
- Improved timing of curative blight fungicides to improve control of late potato blight SRUC - Scotland's Rural College)
- Identification of novel metabolic markers to optimise storage, aid breeding schemes and control dormancy in potatoes (Sheffield University)
The studentships form part of AHDB's commitment to skills within the industry's AgriSkills Strategy launched earlier this month.