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Scottish growers must remain vigilant about stink bug threat

Even if it has not yet been detected north of the border, Scottish growers must take adequate steps to monitor growing areas for the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), a new potential threat to the UK’s agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries.

'Rock On Soils' shows potential for better carbon sequestration and soil biodiversity

A research project examining the potential of using crushed basic silicate rocks as a soil input, for enhanced carbon sequestration and soil biodiversity, has reported positive results.

Pioneering soil carbon project launched

First Milk, Nestlé and Agricarbon have announced the launch of a pioneering soil carbon capture project, with scientific guidance from leading soil ecologist and James Hutton Institute Honorary Associate, Dr Helaina Black.

The project will use state-of-the-art machinery to carry out intensive soil carbon analysis at a fraction of the usual cost, to establish a comprehensive and scientifically robust soil carbon baseline for First Milk farms, allowing soil carbon sequestration to be quantified over time.

Entries now open for 10th Nature of Scotland Awards

Celebrating the inspirational people, projects, groups and organisations working hard to protect Scotland’s precious environment, the tenth Nature of Scotland Awards are open for applications until Tuesday 14th June, with the James Hutton Institute again sponsoring the Food and Farming category.

Entering the awards is free and applications are being sought across ten categories including the new Health and Wellbeing Award and a publicly voted Nature Champion of the Decade award.

Professor Philip White elected Fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh

Professor Philip J. White, a research specialist in plant ecophysiology at the James Hutton Institute, has received the honour of being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has announced 87 new UK and International Fellows in 2021 to add to its more than 1,600-strong fellowship. Fellows are elected following a rigorous examination of their achievements, professional standing and the contribution they and their work make to wider society.  

Resilience in the face of COVID-19 in Scotland’s rural and island areas

The COVID-19 pandemic has required many people to adapt their lifestyles and livelihoods to mitigate the spread and impact of the virus. A new report by SEFARI researchers at the James Hutton Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has shed light on the impacts of, and responses to, the pandemic in rural and island areas of Scotland, showing strong community bonds in the face of adversity.

Volunteers wanted for innovative Scottish mountain hare survey

Volunteers are wanted for the first on-the-ground national survey to shed light on the distribution and numbers of Scottish mountain hares. The survey, which is launched today and will carry on throughout 2021, is calling on hillwalkers, naturalists and other outdoor enthusiasts to record sightings of the charismatic animals as they are out and about. No previous experience of wildlife surveys is necessary to take part.

Tay Cities Deal go-ahead for International Barley Hub and Advanced Plant Growth Centre

The International Barley Hub and the Advanced Plant Growth Centre, two flagship innovation projects supported through a transformational capital investment of £45m by the UK Government and £17m by the Scottish Government via the Tay Cities Region Deal, have been greenlighted today (19th March) by the Tay Cities Deal joint committee.

Webinar series explores legume-based business network for food security

A series of eight free-to-attend webinars and networking events will explore the many opportunities surrounding legume production and use.

The webinars series will take in April and May this year and are being organised by the European Commission-funded LegValue and TRUE projects, with presentations delivered by stakeholders with wide-ranging expertise from across different value chains – all linked by the common aim of unlocking the potential benefits of home-grown legumes.

Discovery of a gene that controls grain development may help control cereal yields

The productivity of cereal crops could get a boost in the future thanks to the discovery of new roles for a master gene regulator that influences the development of barley florets, furthering the understanding of grain development including impacts on grain shape and yield.

A new study from the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute, working with partners in the UK and Australia, has shown that a gene encoding a protein called HvAPETALA2 (HvAP2) has a role in the development of florets and grain.


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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.