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Modern dairying practices the subject of Edinburgh Fringe show

Agriculture is changing. There is an increasing gap between how food is produced and public knowledge and values about agriculture. Dairy farming in the UK has changed from seasonal housing and grazing to around a fifth of farmers housing cows all year around. This change continues to be controversial with the public. Consumers are concerned about the environmental, welfare and social impacts of large farms housing cows all year around.

Crop mixtures and evolution can improve agricultural productivity

Farmers and land managers can improve agricultural productivity by using crop mixtures and taking into consideration the role of evolution in shaping the plants they grow, new research by James Hutton Institute scientists and partners at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich has found.

Birch lab discover new knowledge in fight against potato blight disease

Potato blight, caused by the water mould Phytophthora infestans, is the major disease of potatoes worldwide and is thus a threat to food security. New research from the Birch lab in the University of Dundee's Division of Plant Sciences, based at the James Hutton Institute, has discovered a mechanism that could combat late blight disease in potato crops. The findings have been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Stress-resistant crops may be way forward in the face of extreme temperatures

Scientists from the James Hutton Institute have alerted about the potential impact of extreme weather events - such as the current heatwave - on crop production, suggesting the development of stress-resistant crops as an important resource to preserve food security in the face of increased temperatures.

Potatoes in Practice looks to the future of tatties

The next generation of the potato industry will debate the future of the humble spud at this year’s Potatoes in Practice.

Potatoes in Practice is the largest field-based potato event in the UK, held on Thursday 9th August at Balruddery Farm, Invergowrie, near Dundee. The event is organised and hosted by the James Hutton Institute in partnership with AHDB Potatoes, SRUC (Scotland's Rural College) and Agrii and is also supported by Potato Review.

Barley in the spotlight at iBMW2018 meeting

The use of barley genetic mutant resources to shed light into fundamental aspects of cereal biology was at the centre of discussions at the second International Barley Mutants Workshop 2018 (iBMW2018), held in Dundee with the attendance of 94 crop scientists from the UK, Europe and beyond.

New demonstration facility in focus at Fruit for the Future 2018

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.

New research seeks to support sustainable farm businesses in Europe

New farmers can face quite a number of barriers in developing sustainable businesses, including access to land, labour, capital, housing, markets, networks and knowledge. A new Europe-wide research initiative aims to overcome these hurdles through increased access to information resources, including business models and a ‘virtual library’ of success stories.

Hutton potato varieties approved for export to Kenya

Two potato varieties bred at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee have been recommended for release in Kenya thanks to the concerted efforts of AHDB, SASA, Seeds2B Africa - part of the Syngenta Foundation - and the Institute’s commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Limited.

Hutton varieties Gemson and Lady Balfour, along with free variety Cara, made the grade after a trial of ten potato varieties at three separate farms over two seasons.

Enhancing innovation in rural areas: Scotland’s experience

What is the Scottish perspective on rural innovation, looking forward with the recent launch of the Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS)? That was the focus of a workshop organised by the Scottish Representation to the European Union in Brussels, which also served as a follow-up on the 11th OECD Rural Development Conference held in Edinburgh last April.


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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.