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NFU Sets Out Research Priorities for Farming

by 5m Editor
17 June 2010, at 12:34pm

UK - If farming is to meet the challenges of producing more food while impacting less on the environment it is vital that research and development in agricultural science is given a prominent role, a major conference will hear today.

Dr Helen Ferrier, the NFU’s chief science and regulatory affairs adviser, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum seminar on food security, innovation and research.

Dr Ferrier said, “Research priorities for farming are about developing better breeds and varieties - improving the genetics - allied to improved management practices, agronomy and husbandry, so farmers can achieve that genetic potential in a commercial context. Key elements in this are pest and disease resistance and control; efficient use of nutrients, feed, water, pesticides, energy or light by the plant or animal; using technology and machinery to increase efficiency and target inputs; and reducing waste from the system.

“However, for this to work on a commercial scale and to have industry-focussed research there must be effective knowledge exchange with farmers, identifiable networks of experts and research centres, and demonstration facilities. It also requires a common language, mutual respect and two-way communication between farmers, advisers and scientists."

To find out more about the NFU’s Why Science Matters for Farming campaign, please click here.

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