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Shortlist announced for 2018 Nature of Scotland Awards

Over 300 members of the conservation community will meet at the Nature of Scotland Awards 2018 ceremony to celebrate the people and projects that are going the extra mile to support Scottish nature conservation, with the James Hutton Institute once again sponsoring the Food and Farming award.

The shortlist for the 2018 awards represent a cross-section of businesses, charities, the public sector and individuals working towards conserving the country’s unique wildlife and natural environment.

The categories in the awards are:

Calling on farmers and field managers: join the Plant Teams Field Lab

The James Hutton Institute is teaming with Soil Association Scotland and Scotland's Rural College to work with farmers in a Field Lab to trial crop mixtures or ‘plant teams’. Field Labs are free to attend and open to all land managers, whether organic or not. They allow farmers to test out innovative real-life solutions to practical challenges, with input from experts.

Hutton research reflected in Hydro Nation 2018 report

Work by James Hutton Institute water researchers has been reflected in the latest Scotland: The Hydro Nation Annual Report, which provides an outline of activities carried out by the Scottish Government and partners under the Hydro Nation agenda.

Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences and James Hutton Institute establish collaborative links

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China, and the James Hutton Institute, during the 2018 UK-China Potato Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Conference, held in Shandong, China.

The agreement outlines cooperation in crop breeding, genomics, pests and disease control and sustainable soil management, by way of academic exchanges and joint research programmes.

MycoNourish announced as finalist of Converge Challenge 2018

MycoNourish, a product designed by Hutton scientist Peter Orrell, has been announced as finalist of the Converge Challenge 2018, Scotland's leading higher education company creation programme.

Scottish rivers are warming, Hutton research shows

Scientists from the James Hutton Institute have found that waters in Scottish rivers are reaching record-breaking warm temperatures, which may have implications for rural economies across the country.

By comparing historical records kept by the Tulchan Estate with hydroclimatic datasets, Dr Rachel Helliwell and Dr Ina Pohle were able to spot an increase of 2-3°C in the water temperature of the river Spey over the last 105 years.

James Hutton Group welcomes UK-China seed potato deal

The James Hutton Institute and its commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Limited, have welcomed a deal which will allow the UK to export seed potato to China.

The agreement, signed by International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox during a recent visit to the country, is expected to bring major benefits to Scotland, with around 70% of the 100,000 tonnes of seed potatoes exported annually from the UK coming from Scottish farms.

The seed potato export market is already worth an annual £90 million to the UK, with some varieties fetching up to £900 per tonne.

Views sought on attitudes towards future of dairy farming in UK and Ireland

There has been public controversy in recent years about indoor dairy farming. Research has found that the public are concerned about environmental and welfare implications of a move away from pasture-based systems towards more year-round housing. However, no research has been carried out about farmers’ attitudes towards pasture-based and indoor systems.

Scottish hops a viable commercial crop, Hutton research finds

After a four-year trial which saw the first harvest of Scottish hops in recent decades, scientists from the James Hutton Institute have created a practical guide booklet for farmers interested in growing the crop, which highlights its commercial potential in Scotland.

The publication includes recommendations covering infrastructure, agronomic requirements, disease and pest threats, harvest and post-harvest handling.

Scotland's first vertical indoor farm unveiled at Hutton Dundee site

Scottish-based agritech business Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd has unveiled its first indoor vertical farming demonstration building at the James Hutton Institute near Dundee. The facility, formally opened by John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North and Deputy First Minister of Scotland, is arguably the world's most technically advanced indoor farm.

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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.