The WET Centre at NIAB EMR has become a showpiece at Fruit Focus, bringing together leading industry technologies and 20 years of cutting-edge R&D. For growers, precision irrigation is fast becoming a ‘when’ not ‘if’ issue as legislation will restrict future water abstraction. Thankfully, using precision technologies growers are able to expand growing areas, increase marketable yields by reducing waste, assure shelf-life and reduce inputs, including water and fertilisers.
After two seasons of growing ‘MallingTM Centenary’ the new industry-standard strawberry, the WET Centre has been planted with ‘MallingTM Champion’ – a disease resistant, high quality ever-bearer strawberry from the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club which is set to see its commercial launch at Fruit Focus on 17 July. The performance of the rain water harvesting system and of a powdery mildew prediction model will also discussed on the day.
Visitors to Fruit Focus 2019 will also witness the progress being made towards the establishment of WET Centre Phase Two – raspberries. With this high-value crop increasing in area and production in the UK, supported by exciting new varieties from the East Malling Rubus Breeding Consortium, the need for precision irrigation technologies and tools is paramount. Join the WET Centre tours at Fruit Focus and hear more about our work on the precision growing of soft fruit.