Cereal Crop Plots – An interview with Rothamsted Research’s James Clarke

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With just a few weeks to go until Cereals, we attended the Crop Plot preview day and, alongside our sister publication Farm Contractor & Large Scale Farmer, interviewed the companies exhibiting their new varieties.

Rothamsted Research is the oldest agricultural research institute and James Clarke, head of communications, explained how the firm is monitoring ancient wheat lines to aid the development of more resistant varieties.

Watching with robotics

“We are using robotics to watch wheat varieties growing 24/7 and we are able to monitor performance in detail, from emergence to harvest,” he explained. “This helps us identify suitable traits as fast as possible.”

One area Mr Clarke highlighted is how wheat varieties respond to hot nights, which traditionally, the crop does not thrive in.

The Cereals Event will be held near Duxford, Cambridgeshire on 8-9 June 2022. For more information or to purchase tickets visit the relaunched website at www.cerealsevent.co.uk.

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About Author

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.