Jazz apples on tree

A presentation on an ongoing £30 million investment in new demonstration and research facilities will kick off this year’s free online edition of the NIAB EMR Tree Fruit Day.

The investment at NIAB EMR is part of theGrowing Kent & Medway(GMK) initiative ­– aresearch, innovation and enterprise cluster supporting growth in tech-driven horticulture, fresh produce packaging, food and drink processing and its supply chains.

During the event, which will be presented as an online webinar from 11am-4.20pm on Thursday 24 February, GKM innovation growth manager Dr Robert Saville will outline the benefits to industry of the new GreenTech Hub that will shortly be completed at East Malling. This will include a new glasshouse and propagation unit, a wine innovation centre and research winery, and a horticulture business zone for meetings and events.

The Tree Fruit Technical Day will share the latest research into tree fruit production. The event will be run for the first time by NIAB EMR, with the support of theEast Malling Trust,following the winding-down of AHDB Horticulture activities.

In addition, the day will include research results on projects ranging from advances in storage technology to the latest developments in apple and cherry canker control, new approaches to woolly apple aphid and enhancing natural enemies.

The event will also include a dedicated session for plum and cherry growers on the latest developments in the management and control of spotted wing drosophila (SWD), including reducing over-wintering populations, egg-laying deterrents and an exciting new approach deploying the sterile insect technique (SIT).

CEO of NIAB Professor Mario Caccamo 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 tree fruit industry.

“Tree fruit growers will also learn about how 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.”

The event will remain online following record participation with the virtual session held during the pandemic in 2021. Clickhereto register.