Solitary ground-nesting bees and their nesting preferences

Written by: Konstantinos Tsiolis There are more than 20,000 known bee species worldwide which vary significantly in their size, habits and appearance having adapted according to the plants they like to visit. More than 85% of existing bee species are not social, like honeybees, but solitary. Solitary bee females mate independently, create their own nests […]

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Plasticulture: A double-edged sword

Written by Sam Cusworth: Plasticulture; the use of plastics in agriculture, is a worldwide practice and has been ever-expanding since the 1950s. Replacing the traditional materials of straw, manure, paper and crop mulch, plastics have transformed global agriculture into a more productive and efficient system. From boosting crop productivity to maintaining a competitive advantage in […]

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The potential benefits of managed wildflower strips in apple and pear orchards on soil health

Written by: Max Davis. A consciousness identifying the need for sustainable practices within agriculture can be traced back thousands of years. Ancient Romans were aware of the degenerative effects of continuous agricultural production on soil[1]. Today, modern agricultural systems are still linked with dwindling ecosystem services and processes, and declining biodiversity. Contemporary research approaches aim […]

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DIY Laboratory: Apple Research under the Dome

Written by: Alex Bleasdale If there is one thing I have learned in the last year, it’s that working from home is not ideal for plant research. Living at home, close to my university had its benefits, but the climate at Lancaster and the wet and windy weather in my back garden is not the […]

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Soil Compaction: Why is it a Problem for Potatoes?

Written by Patrick Skilleter Soil is one of the most vital parts of any crop field. It provides crops with nutrients and water, gathered by their roots. A large root system increases the plant’s ability to take up these vital materials, which in turn can improve their yield and yield quality; both vital for food […]

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