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New demonstration facility in focus at Fruit for the Future 2018

New demonstration tunnel (c) James Hutton Institute
"The tunnels will showcase all the varieties to the best standards of a commercial system so visitors can view the plants as they would be in the real world"

The James Hutton Institute will showcase its new raspberry demonstration tunnels at Fruit for the Future, the Institute’s annual soft fruit-themed event, on Thursday 19 July 2018 in Invergowrie near Dundee.

The new demonstration tunnels will be home to the most promising raspberries selected from the more traditional soil grown breeding plots, both primocane and floricane. Selections will be grown in pots, rather than in the soil, which is now becoming the preferred method for commercial growers.

Pots are increasingly in use to fight raspberry root rot, a disease which is increasingly present in soil and cannot be eradicated. The pots increase heat to the roots and are portable, so plants can be moved according to conditions. They also reduce the risk of contamination between plots and help prolong the season, thereby potentially lessening the demand for imported fruit.

James Hutton Limited fruit breeder Nikki Jennings said: “It’s very exciting to welcome visitors throughout the summer, particularly to Fruit for the Future, to view our selections and varieties in a fresh new tunnel.

“The tunnels will showcase all the varieties to the best standards of a commercial system so visitors can view the plants as they would be in the ‘real world’. It will be a great opportunity for them to view James Hutton Institute bred varieties at their best in the place that they were bred.

“I think this will be the catalyst for an overall change in our breeding process; we’re starting to move other selections into pots too. It’s definitely the way forward for our breeding programme offering more flexibility and control."

The tunnels have been equipped with the generous support of commercial companies Elite Tunnels, XL Horticulture, Ripple Aquaplast, AgriTech Services Ltd, Brinkman UK, Legro and Omex.

Besides the new demonstration tunnels, Fruit for the Future will offer visitors an opportunity to join an "evening fruit walk" through experimental raspberry, blackberry and blueberry plots, featuring outdoor demonstrations covering the following themes:

  • Progress from the raspberry breeding programme and an introduction to blackberry breeding
  • An introduction to the new Plant Health Centre
  • EU H2020 funded project "Goodberry": multi-actor approach into improving the stability of high-quality traits of berry crops
  • Intelligent Growth Solutions: indoor farming
  • Know Your Enemy: vine weevil
  • Raspberry taste test

For more information and details on how to register please visit the event page.

Notes to editors

The decision to introduce pots was made by the Raspberry Breeding Consortium during an annual review of breeding objectives. The Consortium is managed by James Hutton Limited and funded by AHDB, Scottish Government and industry partners.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/new-demonstration-facility-focus-fruit-future-2018 on 25/08/19 07:36:00 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.