AHDB Horticulture Cost: £302,355
Summary: Over the last five years the Cut Flower Centre (CFC) has run a series of trials, events and study tours aimed at addressing the overall technical needs of the cut flower industry with a key focus on New Product Development (NPD). The work has been widely publicised via a broad range of outlets including, the internet, various publications, TV and radio, as well as the ever popular annual Open Day in early August of each year. As the current period of AHDB funding for the CFC project comes to an end the industry has expressed a desire for the CFC to continue but with a broader remit than in previous years. To this end, while they will still play an important role, the NPD activities will be reduced and a series of trials will be developed to address specific industry issues. Some of these will be run in conjunction with other research organisations such as column stock Fusarium trials facilitated by Warwick University and herbicide trials developed by ADAS. The Centre’s approach will continue to be based on having an agile response to growers’ needs, providing objective trialling and practical experimentation.
The CFC will retain its industry focus by continuing to be steered by a Management Group (MG) made up of representatives from a wide cross section of the cut flower sector including growers, packers, supermarkets and the AHDB.
Aim: To maintain the Cut Flower Centre (CFC) as the primary site for cut flower research in the UK. The structure of the CFC (i.e. the fact that it is run by an MG comprising of all sectors of the industry) will be maintained to ensure that the individual components of the work plan are focused on the industry's needs and remain relevant.
Objectives: There are 5 core objectives which are clearly linked to the different elements of the work plan detailed at 3.3. A percentage of the core CFC funds dedicated to each activity is given for each objective, however CFC activities are totally integrated with one another so this should only be used as guide.
Objective 1. To provide a permanent site at the CFC for the investigation and control of Fusarium oxysporum on column stocks and link the trials programme with project FV BOF 452 managed by Warwick University. While the project will be guided by Warwick, all of the work at the site will be undertaken by the CFC and funded from the core CFC AHDB pot, using approximately 20% of the total annual funds.
Objective 2. To facilitate and undertake a series of herbicide trials aimed at strengthening the armoury currently available to UK cut flower growers using approximately 15% of the funding. These will be undertaken in partnership with ADAS. An estimate of the cost of this part of the project is around 15% of the total funds.
Objective 3. To continue to investigate and organise demonstration trials of new products that could be produced by UK growers as well as providing agronomic advice for the most promising lines (50% of total funds).
Objective 4. To enable the CFC to be proactive and responsive to the industry’s needs. Approximately 15% of the overall budget will be set aside each year to enable research to be undertaken on topical issues that arise and can be addressed within the CFC facilities and expertise. In 2018 this will involve further work on the issue of petal spotting on UK field grown sunflowers.
Objective 5. To provide the facilities to undertake trials to update RB209 as part of the wider package of work being undertaken by the AHDB on fertiliser recommendation. None of the core CFC funds have been allocated for this work because it will be funded from the larger overall AHDB project aimed at updating RB209.