• Dave Hughes, Syngenta

    Novel agri-tech best way to produce enough safe, high-quality food whilst reducing environmental impact

    When Dave Hughes started working for Syngenta over 20 years ago his focus was chemistry but his interests and that of the company have developed and it is now a knowledge of biology that is providing new avenues for plant protection.

    A new feature of the REAP conference this year is a debate about whether the priority for agri-tech innovation should still be food production or, if food can be produced more cost-efficiently somewhere else, should the emphasis be on more lucrative uses of land?

  • Vicky Foster, Head of BBRO

    Sugar beet research refines the sweet spot

    Sugar beet is grown in East Anglia and East Midlands and is used as an ingredient in foods, beverages and pharmaceuticals with co-products used for animal feed and bioenergy. Yields…

  • Thomas Mountain

    The future of farming: integrating tradition and tech

    What will farming look like in 20 years’ time? As we move more online, will there be a greater focus on software? How will inputs and outputs differ? What will…

  • Using earthworms as indicators of soil health - Jackie Stroud, Rothamsted Research

    Using earthworms as indicators of soil health

    Earthworms are like the miner’s canary, indicating a problem with the underground world. They are sensitive to pH, water-logging, compaction, rotations, tillage and responsive to applications of organic matter. This…

  • Marcus de Wilde, Applied Blockchain

    Blockchain generating confidence with smart contracts

    Food fraud could be losing the food and drink industry up to £12bn annually, according to a report by NFU Mutual (2017), and high profile cases of deliberate substitution of…

  • Matthew Smith, Microsoft Research

    Using AI to fix fractured value chains: a path best tackled facing forward

    Matthew Smith was an ecologist before he joined Microsoft to lead the development of new predictive models for environmental systems, he spoke to us a couple of years ago and…

  • Jamie Lockhart, Honingham Thorpe Farms feat

    Could ‘flying flocks’ be the answer to soil fertility and low margins?

    “We know as arable farmers that we need to do something to improve soil health and structure and the inclusion of livestock in the rotation must be beneficial,” says Jamie…

  • Norfolk broads

    Looking forward

    As the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs commented at the Oxford Farming Conference last week “…if we want to preserve that which we cherish – a…

  • No-till in a time of climate change challenges thinking

    Tillage practices – ploughing operations that disturb the soil – affect soil carbon, water pollution, and farmers’ energy and pesticide use, and therefore the approach to cultivation can have a…

  • Matt O'Hagan, M&S

    Good taste and fresh ideas from M&S at REAP

    “M&S is looking at ways to increase the nutritional value of food, particularly by increasing levels of the vitamins and minerals found in vegetables, that may be lacking from peoples’…