NIAB EMR Research Tours


NIAB EMR Research Tours

The scope of work at NIAB EMR is hugely impressive from new varieties through to pest control and water efficiency. Fruit Focus traditionally offers a tour of NIAB EMR Research's latest fruit research, this year we will be offering an opportunity to take a virtual tour experience providing you with rich detailed research on the newly expanded WET Centre, the Produce Quality Centre, Plum Demonstration Centre, Blackcurrant Area.  You can also take a Research Tour entitled Floral resources for natural enemies and pollinators and see the UV Robot in Action.  Please note that all tours will depart from the signed tour departure area near Berry Gardens stand.    

Research Tour Schedule Timing
WET Centre 9:00
Produce Quality Centre 9:00
Floral Resources for Natural Enemies and Pollinators 10:00
Digital Viticulture  10:30
Plum Demonstration 11:00
WET Centre 12:00
Digital Viticulture 12:30
UV Robot 14:00
WET Centre 15:00
Produce Quality Centre 15:00


Produce Quality Centre Tour

Come and visit the Produce Quality Centre, a joint venture between the University of Greenwich and NIAB EMR, and learn about some of the latest innovations in fruit handling and storage. The tour will be led by Dr Debbie Rees.

The technologies on-show have been developed with funding from Innovate, AHDB and our industry partners, including Storage Control Systems Ltd, JD Cooling Ltd,  Ozone Industries Ltd, as well as many grower partners.

The tour will include an explanation of how monitoring produce response to storage environments enables us to optimise packaging solutions and to tailor long-term storage atmospheres. A demonstration of the advantages of gaseous ozone treatment within retail packs and an introduction to an on-going project to optimise in-field cooling of soft-fruit.

Produce Quality Centre
Plum Demo

Plum Demonstration Centre Tour

The Plum Demonstration Centre has been developing and evolving since the last open event took place in 2019. Join this farm tour at Fruit Focus to learn about the ongoing work demonstrating different rootstock/training combinations, protected versus outdoor cropping, the new NIAB EMR early plum selections and over 20 other varieties planted last winter in the variety demonstration plot. In addition, you can find out more about the work to attract predators and beneficial insects into the orchard.

The project focused on enhancing yields, reliability of cropping, extending the production season from July to October, and improving fruit value by raising the quality of the fruit being marketed and consumed.

UV Robot Tour:  State of the art powdery mildew disease control in strawberry

An important disease in many crops is mildew. Current horticultural practices rely on intensive pesticide use to counter it. However, the use of chemical crop protection results in spray residues on the harvested product and mildew infections cannot always be prevented. Scientific research showed that UV-C light has the potential to become a sustainable alternative for chemical mildew control. The application of UV-C still need to be optimized and automation is required to allow introduction in horticulture.

Come and visit our demonstration polytunnel which houses an autonomous robot that applies UV light to control strawberry powdery mildew. We will give you a brief overview of our work including methods of achieving effective and environmentally friendly disease control. 

UV Robot

Pollinator photo

Tour of Floral Resources for Natural Enemies and Pollinators

Join this farm tour at Fruit Focus to learn and discuss the benefits of floral sowings on beneficials (natural enemies and pollinators) in a range of crops.

Several seed mixes and periods of establishment of perennial wildflowers have been sown on the farm. The tour will begin at the NIAB EMR WET Centre and show a comparison of single species and a wildflower mix sown in 2018 in comparison to ‘tumble-down’. We will discuss the beneficial impacts of these mixes and any concerns with pest species. We will then walk to the Blackcurrant Demonstration plot where a wildflower mix was broadcast last autumn and discuss establishment and ongoing maintenance.

Digital Viticulture Tour

The ’Digital Vineyard’ platform provides a single view on all agronomic data and bring added-value to vineyard managers by digitising their fields, down to individual plants, enabling them to monitor events in real-time including weather conditions, presence of pests and diseases, and support growers implement agriculture best practice. It also allows quick and effective communication with NIAB EMR scientists via a software App.  The Digital Vineyard is open to future technological advances and use of novel data collection tools, such as drones and satellites.  By combining NIAB EMR’s global viticulture expertise with Abaco’s agricultural digital platform, digital viticulture will enable the wine industry to continue its remarkable growth while improving the quality that the UK brand is becoming increasingly known for.  Join the digital viticulture tour to learn more.

Viticulture pic

CPD points at Fruit Focus

BASIS logo

BASIS Professional Register members will have the opportunity to collect four BASIS CPD points.To collect their points members should head to the BASIS standand present their membership card for scanning, those without a card can simply fill in a form with their details.


The National Register of Sprayer Operators (NRoSO) was formed in 2003. The scheme has in excess of 20,000 members and has evolved to offer the following benefits. To collect points members should head to the organiser's office with their contact details and membership number.