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A very successful Royal Highland Show for Hutton science

It was another brilliant Royal Highland Show (21-24 June 2018) for the James Hutton Institute, with a steady stream of visitors of all ages to the Hutton marquee including farmers, families, schoolchildren and research partners, as well as a significant number of UK and Scottish politicians and elected representatives.

Fife has the Best Soil in Show 2018

John Weir, of Lacesston Farm near Cupar, has been announced as the winner of Best Soil in Show at the Royal Highland Show 2018, with Douglas Greig, of Tealing by Dundee, scooping the Young Farmers prize for a record third time.

Lacesston is a 200-hectare farm which predominantly grows spring barley for malting, as well as potatoes and winter varieties of wheat, oats, oilseed rape and barley.

Scientists unravel effects of alternative splicing on plant responses to cold temperatures

Research by a group of scientists from the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute, along with partners from Glasgow and Durham universities, has found that a genetic process known as alternative splicing has a massive effect on the response of plants to stress from cold temperatures. The paper -published in the American Society of Plant Biologists’ journal The Plant Cell - is already proving very influential and attracting wide interest.

Hundreds visit Glensaugh farm on Open Farm Sunday

The James Hutton Institute again took part in Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) Open Farm Sunday, the annual celebration of the story behind our food and how farming underpins our everyday lives. This time, hundreds turned up at our Glensaugh farm on Sunday 10th June to experience a stunning managed upland environment with geological formations, agroforestry, sheep grazing, bracken and heather, woodlands, small lochs and red deer.

Research and innovation that underpin Scotland’s larder – come and see it at the Royal Highland Show 2018

The Royal Highland Show (21-24 June 2018) is one of Scotland's most iconic events and showcases not only the very best of farming food and rural life, but also the research and innovation that underpin Scotland’s food and drink sector and supports its first-class reputation both at home and abroad.

The James Hutton Institute’s world leading research in crops, land and the environment will be at the Show through exhibits covering plant science, sustainable agriculture, indoors farming, bioinformatics, soil research and social science.

Cereals in Practice 2018 Attendee registration

Attendance at Cereals in Practice 2018 is free but attendees are requested to fill in the form below to ensure a speedy arrival and to ensure enough catering has been ordered. Fields marked * are mandatory. This information will only be used to process any registration. We will not pass on your details to any third parties. For further detail about your rights to your personal data and how we process it, please see our privacy notice at

Peter Orrell wins Converge Challenge 2018 award

Hutton scientist Dr Peter Orrell has won the ‘Ready Steady Pitch’ award of the Converge Challenge 2018 with his MycoNourish product, which uses fungi to act as a secondary root system and improve plant health.

The result came after three days of comprehensive business training to showcase the most innovative ideas emerging from Scottish universities, and the ‘Ready Steady Pitch’ challenge saw entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of experts and industry professionals in just sixty seconds.

Scottish social innovation in focus

How can social innovation change the face of rural areas in Scotland? What are the most appropriate approaches, methods and tools to assess social innovation? What does policy support of social innovation mean in the Scottish context? These questions along with many others were at the heart of a workshop held at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen and led by researchers of the EU-funded SIMRA (Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas) project.

ALTER: can increasing the carbon in soil combat climate change?

Scientists from the James Hutton Institute are supporting the Asian Agricultural Long-Term Experiment (ALTER) with the aim of providing scientific basis and management options for soil sequestration and agricultural sustainability in Asia and beyond.

The organisation, launched in March 2017, consists of several scientists working on long-term agricultural field experiments with a focus on plant-soil interaction. It strives to encourage collaboration, exchange of information, and the formation of joint research.

Mearns Academy pupils help stop the plastic tide at Glensaugh

More and more volunteers are waking up to the pervasive problem of plastic pollution in landscapes both home and abroad, and the James Hutton Institute’s Glensaugh Research Farm is no exception. A group of Mearns Academy pupils visited Glensaugh to help stop the ‘plastic tide’ by collecting tree guards and nets used to protect young trees against grazing animals, including sheep and deer.

Donald Barrie, Glensaugh farm manager, said: “The world has woken up to the problem of plastic pollution in all industries, including agriculture and forestry.

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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.