A call for soils and water research partnerships has been launched by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, with funds from the Horticulture, Potatoes, Cereals and Oilseeds and Dairy sectors.
The purpose of the new £1.5m initiative is to address challenges identified in the UK agriculture and horticulture industries on the management of rotations, soils structure and water.
Dr Mike Storey, Head of R&D at AHDB Potatoes, said: "AHDB sectors already work closely together to develop programmes of research with leading science organisations. It is this high level of collaboration that we are building on for this new call.
“By combining funds across AHDB, it gives us the required investment power to support and sustain excellence in soil and water management research.”
AHDB is seeking research groups to submit a 5 year work programme (April 2016 – March 2021) that incorporates soil quality indicators; optimal rotations; precision technology, and the management of water access, availability and monitoring.
“It is very timely that we launch this tender during the United Nations International Year of Soils,” says Dr Bill Parker, AHDB’s Director of Research & Knowledge Exchange for Crops. “Soil and water are the farmer’s key assets. The practical outcomes from this research will support farmers and growers to improve their management techniques with clear business and environmental benefits."
The research complements the crop nutrition work being undertaken for the spring 2017 launch of the AHDB Crop Nutrient Management Guide (formerly known as RB209).
The combined initiative will also help bring together soil and water management information already being funded across AHDB divisions and will be followed by a call on soil health and soil biology next year.