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Fred Searle

BY FRED SEARLE

Scottish innovation provides vision of future farming

AHDB PhD students visit range of fresh produce firms in Scotland to inspire research projects

Scottish innovation provides vision of future farming

The students visited Angus Soft Fruits' East Seaton Farm in Arbroath

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Students from AHDB’s £1.4 million PhD programme witnessed how the farming sector is tackling challenges such as labour and pest management on a recent visit to Scotland.

The young researchers were exposed to innovation from research facilities and growers using a range of crop systems.

There were six stops on the trip, including Scotland’s first vertical indoor farm at the James Hutton Institute; major vegetable producer Kettle Produce; one of Scotland’s leading soft fruit growers, East Seaton Farm; and Britain’s largest potato breeder, Cygnet PB.

PhD student Aaron Hoyle said: “The visit was like stepping into the future. The science in Scotland has massive economic potential for British farming and agriculture, with the added benefits of energy, water, and nutrient use efficiency; it’s going to be a very exciting time for the industry.

“The trip has motivated me to continue pursuing my passion for the industry and contribute to a revolution in crop science.”

AHDB senior crop scientist Joe Martin, who manages the studentship programme, added: “Industry depends on innovation by the best and brightest minds advancing crop science and its applications

“This annual event, taking place in different regions of the UK each year, allows students to see the impact scientific innovation has on advancing the industry, and inspire and motivate them to continue their valued research”

To continue to develop expertise, AHDB has committed £750,000 funding for academic institutions to support up to 10 new PhD studentships. Starting in 2020 these studentships will deliver new experts and science with practical benefits across agriculture and horticulture.

Click here for more information on AHDB’s PhD studentships.

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