Closed: Innovate UK: Innovative disease monitoring and diagnostics for improved efficiency of crop production (SPOREID)
Timescale: 2015 -2018
Project Lead: Dr Mark Stevens
Project Sponsor: Innovate UK collaboration: BBRO, British Sugar, Rothamsted, University of Notts, Burkard Manufacturing and Crop Performance Ltd
SPOREID is a new project designed to minimise the impact of disease on yield of the UK sugar beet crop. The yield potential of the UK sugar beet crop is c.130 t/ha compared to an average yield of 70t/ha. One of the factors responsible for this yield gap is foliar diseases which can reduce yield by more than 50% and, whilst current practices prevent yield losses of this magnitude, it is estimated that 10% yield is lost to foliar diseases, representing £24M per year. Climate change may lead to increasing pressure from existing or 'new' emerging diseases, which require increased crop protection. Improved disease management will allow growers to increase the productivity, sustainability and profitability of the crop. This project will bring together novel diagnostic tools, crop disease modelling and yield forecasting to underpin grower decision making and investigate the potential impact of emerging diseases on the crop.
Ultimately this project will lead to a new user interface for disease monitoring and prediction and for a more robust approach for the application and benefit of fungicides for the UK crop.