Research projects archive
Industry Representative: Patrick Fairweather, Fairweather's Nursery
AHDB Horticulture Cost: £24,519
Industry Representative: Graham Whitehead, Whiteheads of Boston
AHDB Horticulture Cost: £8,800
Industry Representatives: Bruce Harnett (Kernock Park Plants), Jamie Dewhurst (J&A Growers) and Mike Mann (Winchester Growers)
The UK poinsettia industry has had a high reliance on relatively few poinsettia varieties. The variety with the largest penetration is Infinity (c. 80% of the UK volume), followed by others such as Titan, Christmas Feeling, Prima, and Christmas Glory. The UK market tends to require slightly taller plants than the typical EU product, with clean red bract colours contrasting against dark green leaves. Prominent cyathia are frequently required, but without pollen.
There is now considerable interest in the use and exploitation of new varieties for the UK market. There are concerns that key varieties, which have been in the market for a number of years, are now starting to show non-typical or variable traits and habits. This may be due to issues with stock plant maintenance over a number of years.
A recent AHDB Horticulture Poinsettia growers study tour showed that plant breeders are actively working to breed new varieties or to develop improved stock management processes to “reboot and revamp” existing varieties. However, the number of new varieties entering the market is significant. These varieties are bred internationally, in particular in Europe, but not in the UK. The stock can be maintained in diverse areas such as Europe, Africa and Central America.
The process of variety selection by a grower is not simple. Growers will acquire insight from a number of sources, including own tests, visits to other growers, breeders and research stations, discussions with buyers, personal views regarding customer needs, extension services and documentary sources. Growers will also need to consider how a variety “fits” with their own facilities and production techniques. The process of variety selection is very expensive and time consuming, poor decision making can also have significant negative commercial consequences.
Improved and more effective decision making on variety selection can be established by understanding if there are significant grower x genetic interactions, ie do all varieties perform relatively the same on different holdings. If they do perform relatively the same on different holdings then it will suggest that varieties are relatively robust between growers. If there are significant interactions, ie varieties do not perform relatively the same between holdings, then variety decision making will be complex. If no interactions exist then variety selection might be made following the testing, on nursery, of relatively few varieties benchmarked to standard commercial controls. If interactions do exist then to make an effective decision it will require own on nursery tests of a very wide range of varieties, since it will never be clear how they perform until they are grown on a specific site.
Variety selection should also include an assessment of consumer performance. Shelf life trials are though difficult and costly to undertake at a grower level. Furthermore, a number of approaches to increase the resilience of the product post production are coming onto the market, these include the use of anti transpirant chemicals, small water absorbing plugs and the addition of “wick” water uptake mechanisms. These products have not been tested under controlled conditions to determine their efficacy.
This proposal covers two elements of work; further monitoring on grower holdings in 2015 and Pansy sample testing for a virus potentially associated with PaMS. Continued monitoring will gather further evidence towards determining the triggers for PaMS (temperature, humidity, DLI, irrigation and production inputs and practices). The virus tests will confirm any association of Viola white distortion associated virus (VWDaV) with PaMS symptoms.
Industry representative: Graham Whitehead, Whiteheads of Boston
AHDB Horticulture cost: £8,600
Industry representative: Caroline Shove, Bryants Nurseries
HDC total project cost: £100,000
Industry representative: Mark Cade, Coles Nurseries
HDC project cost: £41,300
Industry representative: Mike Smith
HDC project cost: £16,877
Industry representative: Philip Collison, Collison Cut Flowers
HDC project cost: £9,240
To Improve control of black root rot (T. basicola) and increase the quality of container-grown ornamentals through the use of plant protection products and plant stimulants.
Industry representatives: Sarah Fairhurst; Philip Boileau
HDC project cost: £9,814
This project aims to investigate the role of selected environmental factors on the incidence of PaMS.
AHDB wishes to build awareness and understanding in their stakeholder communities of the way that farm management decisions on the use of resources (including land) determine environmental impacts
Industry representative: Fay Richardson
HDC project cost: £6,570
This project is a short scoping studing, aiming to provide information to inform progression towards reducing losses through Black root rot infection.
This project aims to co-ordinate the ongoing “grower trials” using soil amendments used in PO 005 (2012) to improve the quality of column stock crops; collate, interpret and analyse the results an
Industry representative: Mark Eves
AHDB Horticulture project cost: £263,324
The overall aims of the project are to reduce energy use and cost in heated glasshouses.
To establish the economics of the LED lighting solutions that are currently available to growers
This aims to provide evidence that fungicide active ingredients, shown to have activity against the causal agent of Impatiens downy mildew but not those containing metalaxyl-M, are still active ag
This project aims to provide UK based growers of protected crops (both edible and ornamental) with a comprehensive source of impartial energy saving information.
This project aims to investigate baiting and diagnostic techniques for monitoring Phytophthora spp. and Pythium spp. in irrigation water on ornamental nurseries.
This project aims to provide a mechanism for metalaxyl-M resistance screening in commercially grown impatiens during 2012 in order to inform fungicide programmes and also to monitor possible sprea
This project aims to improve the efficiency of spray application in ornamental crops and highlight novel technologies that ornamental growers can readily adopt.
This project will gather and summarise information for growers and the HDC PO Panel on the development, use and potential of trap plants in protected ornamentals worldwide.
The overall aim of the project is to identify new poinsettia varieties suited to UK production.
This project will undertake a preliminary demonstration / evaluation of micro propagated Hellebores as a new product for pot plant producers for the winter sales period (including the Christmas ma
The ultimate aim is to elucidate the cause(s) of the recent, but persistent, plant failure and varied crop uniformity and to propose solutions to ensure continued viability of UK stock production
This project aims to evaluate a range of insect control products for the control of tobacco whitefly, using a strain which proved difficult to control in 2009, and which was derived from a UK nurs
The project has been designed to examine the potential of new / novel chemicals to control growth on bedding plants. It is a combination of both knowledge transfer and research
The Cut-Flowers Trials Centre was established in 2007 and is now in the third year of a programme of variety demonstrations, agronomic trials and larger-scale assessments of cut-flower species and
The overall aim is to assess if the lower temperatures from wk 39 will provide energy savings for the UK poinsettia grower without increased quality d
The overall aim of the project is to evaluate end customer preferences through preference mapping in order to guide variety selection for future production aimed at both traditional and new market
This project aims to assess the benefit of some chemical and biological interventions that could increase the options available to growers for management of bacterial diseases.
This project aims to seek agreement with industry representatives as to what symptoms constitute Pansy Mottle Syndrome and then to try and elucidate the primary cause of the problem.
The primary aim of this project is to develop an effective and robust spray programme for the Chrysanthemum industry.
The aim of this proposal is to develop novel microbial control strategies for dipteran insect pests for sustainable production of containerised herb and ornamental crops and to investigate their i