New approaches to spotted wing drosophila control will open leading soft fruit event

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A grower-focused technical day, hosted by NIAB EMR, will take place again this year to share the latest innovative research into soft fruit production.  

Research results from projects looking at pest and disease control, to future strawberry varieties, will be shared at an online webinar on Tuesday 16th November 2021. 

The event will feature a wide range of topics, starting with recent research into new approaches to spotted wing drosophila (SWD) control, including reducing over-wintering populations and egg-laying deterrents.

The Soft Fruit Technical Day has been taken on by NIAB EMR with the support of the East Malling Trust following the winding-down of AHDB Horticulture activities. 

Prof. Mario Caccamo, Managing Director, NIAB EMR, said: “This event is an excellent opportunity for growers and agronomists to learn about the cutting-edge research happening at NIAB EMR and other research organisations to support the soft fruit industry.

“We are investing in new horticultural science facilities to continue our world-leading research and are committed to working with industry to advance and strengthen production in the sector.”

There will also be a focus on projects dealing with the control of soft fruit pests including capsids, thrips, aphids and midges. Fungal disease projects will cover Phytophthora cactorum on strawberry, resistance to strawberry powdery mildew and management of Cladosporium fungal mould on raspberry.

Further information will be presented on year-round production of strawberry, use of biostimulants in soft fruit and recycling of coir substrate. The event will finish with an update on the most promising new selections and varieties to come out of the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club.

Commenting on the programme, AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager, Scott Raffle said, “I am pleased that NIAB EMR has been able to arrange this event for the industry again this year, ensuring that growers and agronomists are kept abreast of the latest information to come out of AHDB and other funded projects, including the excellent range of Ph.D Studentship projects, which will be of great interest to everyone.”

The event will remain online again this year following record participation with the virtual session held during the pandemic in 2020. 

Tuesday 16 November 2021, 9.30am-3pm. Register for your free place on EventBrite or visit https://www.emr.ac.uk/

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Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.