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Boxworth, United Kingdom

Foulkes M.J.,University of Nottingham | Slafer G.A.,University of Lleida | Davies W.J.,Lancaster University | Berry P.M.,ADAS High Mowthorpe | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Botany

A substantial increase in grain yield potential is required, along with better use of water and fertilizer, to ensure food security and environmental protection in future decades. For improvements in photosynthetic capacity to result in additional wheat yield, extra assimilates must be partitioned to developing spikes and grains and/or potential grain weight increased to accommodate the extra assimilates. At the same time, improvement in dry matter partitioning to spikes should ensure that it does not increase stem or root lodging. It is therefore crucial that improvements in structural and reproductive aspects of growth accompany increases in photosynthesis to enhance the net agronomic benefits of genetic modifications. In this article, six complementary approaches are proposed, namely: (i) optimizing developmental pattern to maximize spike fertility and grain number, (ii) optimizing spike growth to maximize grain number and dry matter harvest index, (iii) improving spike fertility through desensitizing floret abortion to environmental cues, (iv) improving potential grain size and grain filling, and (v) improving lodging resistance. Since many of the traits tackled in these approaches interact strongly, an integrative modelling approach is also proposed, to (vi) identify any trade-offs between key traits, hence to define target ideotypes in quantitative terms. The potential for genetic dissection of key traits via quantitative trait loci analysis is discussed for the efficient deployment of existing variation in breeding programmes. These proposals should maximize returns in food production from investments in increased crop biomass by increasing spike fertility, grain number per unit area and harvest index whilst optimizing the trade-offs with potential grain weight and lodging resistance. © 2010 The Author(s). Source

Messelink G.J.,Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture | Bennison J.,ADAS Boxworth | Alomar O.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology | Ingegno B.L.,University of Turin | And 5 more authors.

Biological pest control in greenhouse crops is usually based on periodical releases of mass-produced natural enemies, and this method has been successfully applied for decades. However, in some cases there are shortcomings in pest control efficacy, which often can be attributed to the poor establishment of natural enemies. Their establishment and population numbers can be enhanced by providing additional resources, such as alternative food, prey, hosts, oviposition sites or shelters. Furthermore, natural enemy efficacy can be enhanced by using volatiles, adapting the greenhouse climate, avoiding pesticide side-effects and minimizing disrupting food web complexities. The special case of high value crops in a protected greenhouse environment offers tremendous opportunities to design and manage the system in ways that increase crop resilience to pest infestations. While we have outlined opportunities and tools to develop such systems, this review also identifies knowledge gaps, where additional research is needed to optimize these tools. © 2014 The Author(s). Source

Berry P.M.,ADAS High Mowthorpe | Kindred D.R.,ADAS Boxworth | Olesen J.E.,University of Aarhus | Jorgensen L.N.,University of Aarhus | Paveley N.D.,ADAS High Mowthorpe
Plant Pathology

A method for calculating the effect of disease control on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with wheat production, reported previously, was developed further to account for effects of disease control on the amount of fertilizer nitrogen (N) which should be applied and on changes in land use. Data from nine randomized and replicated field experiments from the UK and Denmark showed that the economic optimum N input to winter wheat was greater if diseases were controlled by fungicides, than for untreated wheat. The GHGs associated with this additional N largely negated the benefit to emissions per tonne of grain resulting from disease control. However, the mean grain yield obtained without fungicide treatment was 6·71 t ha-1, compared to 8·88 t ha-1 with fungicide treatment, if N input was optimal for each situation. In the absence of disease control by fungicides, and assuming that the optimum N rate was used, an additional 481 kha of wheat would be required to maintain UK wheat production at the current level. If the additional land area came from converting temperate grassland to arable production, the GHG emissions caused by ploughing grassland would cause emissions to rise from 503 to 713 kg CO2e per tonne of grain produced. This would result in an additional 3·15 Mt CO2e per year to produce the typical UK annual production of 15 Mt. This analysis reinforces the importance of winning the 'arms race' against pathogen evolution towards fungicide insensitivity and virulence. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 BSPP. Source

Thorman R.E.,ADAS Boxworth | Fernanda-Aller M.,ADAS Wolverhampton | Jackson D.R.,ADAS Wolverhampton
Atmospheric Environment

We carried out four replicated field experiments to measure the impacts of immediate incorporation of solid manures on emissions of ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Four manures: cattle farmyard manure (FYM); pig FYM; layer manure and broiler manure were applied to the soil surface or immediately incorporated by mouldboard plough, disc or tine. Two of the experiments were carried out on a clay soil and two on a sandy soil to find out whether soil type interacted with incorporation technique to influence emissions of NH3 or N2O. Ammonia emissions were measured for 1 or 2 weeks while N2O emissions were measured for 60 days in one experiment and for a complete year in the other three experiments.Immediate incorporation by plough reduced NH3 emissions by c. 90% and by c. 60% by disc and tine (P<0.001). There was no effect of soil type on NH3 abatement efficiency by plough or tine but the disc was less effective on the coarse sandy soil.Cross-site analysis indicated no effect of incorporation by disc or tine on emissions of N2O-N after 60 days but incorporation by plough increased direct emissions of N2O-N compared with surface application of manure (P<0.001). Direct emissions of N2O-N, at c. 0.67% of total N applied, were substantially greater at the coarse-textured site than at the heavy clay site (0.04% of total N applied; P<0.001). The impact of incorporation on total annual direct emissions of N2O-N differed in the three experiments where emissions were measured for a full year. There was no effect of incorporation on N2O-N emissions in the first experiment on the clay soil, and in the second experiment at this site incorporation by plough or disc, but not tine, reduced direct emissions of N2O (P=0.006). However on the sandy soil direct emissions of N2O-N were increased when manures were incorporated by plough (P=0.002) but not when incorporated by disc or tine.These results confirm that immediate incorporation of solid manures by plough is the most effective means of reducing NH3 emissions following the application of solid manures. The results also indicate that immediate incorporation of solid manures to reduce NH3 emissions does not necessarily increase emissions of N2O. However, the impacts of immediate incorporation on emissions of N2O may be related to soil type with a greater possibility of emission increases on coarse sandy soils. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Grimmer M.K.,ADAS Boxworth | van den Bosch F.,Rothamsted Research | Powers S.J.,Rothamsted Research | Paveley N.D.,ADAS High Mowthorpe
Pest Management Science

BACKGROUND: In the European Union, assessments of resistance risk are required by the regulatory authorities for each fungicide product and are used to guide the extent of anti-resistance strategies. This paper reports an evaluation of a widely used 'risk matrix', to determine its predictive value. Sixty-seven unique cases of fungicide resistance in Europe were identified for testing the risk assessment scheme, where each case was the first occurrence of resistance in a pathogen species against a fungicide group. RESULTS: In most cases, high-, moderate- and low-risk categories for fungicide, pathogen and agronomic systems were each associated with significant differences in the number of years from fungicide introduction to the first detection of resistance (FDR time). The combined risk, calculated by multiplying the individual risk factors using the risk matrix, had useful predictive power (72.8% of FDR time variance accounted for VAF) for all fungicides, but only limited predictive power (25.8% VAF) for single-site acting fungicides (the predominant type). CONCLUSION: The resistance risk matrix has significant, but limited, predictive value. New fungicide modes of action, or pathogens that have become newly prevalent, cannot be assigned to risk categories until new methods of resistance risk assessment are developed. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry. Source

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