To improve the sustainability of UK farming, 10 new interdisciplinary projects have received a share of £3M. The funding was awarded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) alongside 12 industry partners.
In the second round of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC), the grants totalling £3.2M were funded, to provide solutions to key challenges affecting the efficiency, productivity and sustainability of the UK crop and livestock sectors which supports interdisciplinary projects .
To improve the weather resilience of crops, sensing soil nitrogen, and advanced technologies for crop management, among the funded research studies is work. The translational studies include work to establish decision tools for slurry usage and potato cyst nematode management, devices to assess and improve the use of animal nutrients, and an assessment of the risks of pesticide run-off.
“The projects recommended for funding through this round of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club will contribute to addressing issues relevant both to sustainable intensification of farming and the agricultural industry. We are pleased that the projects will investigate a diverse range of topics that explore biological, environmental and social issues in agriculture. The SARIC community is well placed to ensure the results of these studies can be translated into benefits for society," said Dr Karen Lewis, BBSRC Interim Executive Director, Innovation and Skills. He was speaking on behalf of the collaborating UK Research Councils.
SARIC was formed following consultation with trade associations, levy boards, policy makers and academia. The discussions identified, to translate knowledge for the purpose of progressing towards more sustainable agricultural systems, a need to bring together researchers from the environmental, biological and social sciences with industry.