Tuesday, 18 January 2022
Researchers have been awarded funding to help UK farming transition to net zero and become more sustainable.
Dr Jackie Stroud at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Professor Rumiana Ray at the University of Nottingham will investigate how earthworms can reduce disease risk through effective residue management.
The research project has been awarded £45,000 and is among ten being funded by AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) and BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) to address challenges affecting the sector, as identified by farmers.
They cover technology, regenerative agriculture, soil health, improving livestock farming systems and the development of new resistance mechanisms.
Jackie, a Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Farming Systems at SRUC, is working in partnership with Rumiana Ray, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Nottingham, to help farmers benefit from the biocontrol services provided by earthworms.
The earthworm species Lumbricus terrestris plays an important role in suppressing fungal plant pathogens. This funding enables us to work with farmers and integrate lab to field biocontrol research to reduce pesticide use
The pathogens in focus here cause severe yield and quality losses and are typically controlled by fungicides during crop development. If we can effectively reduce the availability of infectious residues for disease initiation using earthworm activity, we can develop less input intensive and more sustainable disease management of UK agroecosystems.
More information is available from Professor Rumiana Ray at Rumiana.email@example.com
Notes to editors:
About the University of Nottingham
Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.
Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.
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