Young researchers delivered lightning presentations for the ‘Emerging Agri-Tech’ session of this year’s REAP conference. Chaired by John Barrett, Director Designate of Sentry Ltd, delegates heard from a range of research fields, including disease detection, bale logistics, crop analysis, water uptake and the study of nitrogen. The session was sponsored by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBRSC).
Nicola Capstaff, John Innes Centre
Nicola is a PhD student at the John Innes Centre in Norwich. Her project is focused on improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in forage crops and is funded by the BBRSC and British Association of Green Crop Driers (BAGCD) as an iCASE studentship.
NUE is the ratio of crop nitrogen uptake, to the total input of nitrogen fertiliser. Enhancing NUE would reduce the need for nitrogen application, benefiting farmers and the environment. Nicola discussed that under different nitrate levels, increasing amounts of certain genes are expressed and this knowledge can be used to monitor NUE. Additionally, she provided insight into the use of soil sensors to detect nitrogen availability for the crop, helping farmers to reduce fertiliser use.
For information on further research projects featured at REAP 2016, please click here: