The latest news from Stockbridge Technology Centre                                               View this e mail in your browser
Welcome to the latest news update from Stockbridge Technology Centre; the leading independent centre of excellence in technology transfer to horticulture. 
We've put together this newsletter to give you a flavour of the variety of work that we do here at STC and we'd value your feedback. Please e mail with your observations.
We're conscious of the fact that we haven't contacted you for quite some time and your circumstances may have changed. If you no longer wish to hear the latest monthly updates from STC, you can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.

Tony Lomax

A message from Graham Ward, Chief Executive of STC Ltd:

It is with great sadness I have to tell you that Tony has passed away.  Tony joined the STCRF Board in 2010 bringing with him a wealth of experience about the world food business and in particular how the multi nationals view food and food politics.  Tony had managed one of the worldwide burger groups before he retired.  He was a terrific mentor for our business.  He was able to connect STC into the regional  food industry and ‘we’ are just beginning a new food chain involvement following on from this.  Tony was a personal friend and leaves a big gap on my knowledge reserves.

LED Tomato Project update

We're delighted to share with you that we have picked the first Yorkshire tomatoes! They have already made their way onto the shelves at Vanessa's Deli in Beverley and will also be available from Langland's Garden Centre shortly. Click here to read more about this exciting project.


Experts from the fields of applied research, academia and farming have secured a £1.4 million funding award to commercialise innovative precision farming technology.
The team, comprising Dr Chantel Davies and Gavin Milson from Stockbridge Technology Centre Ltd, Dr Abdul Mouazen and Dr Lorenzo Menichetti from Cranfield University, and Andrew Manfield from Manterra Ltd, will spend three years researching unique fertiliser placement technology that will revolutionize the way that farmers apply fertilizer to a range of field vegetables and combinable crops.

The Tru-Nject project combines engineering and sensor solutions with satellite image data and unique fertiliser placement technology and has been co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board), with contributions from industry partners Stockbridge Technology Centre Ltd and Manterra Ltd.

Tru-Nject uses a variety of tools including soil data, satellite data, RTK-GPS auto steering and revolutionary new proximal soil sensors to apply fertiliser below ground that create a resource efficient way to apply nutrients whilst reducing the levels of nitrous oxide gas released from nitrogen fertilisers.

Dr Chantel Davies is the project lead and said: “The funding award from Innovate UK will enable us to combine a range of novel engineering solutions in a very practical way. Cranfield University has a firmly-established reputation for high-level research in soil science and precision agriculture; Manterra Ltd possesses cutting-edge and highly innovative farming equipment. By bringing together these key elements we are able to conduct large-scale field trials across a range of soil types and demonstrate the efficacy of the system.”

Click on through to STC online to read more about the Tru-Nject project.


Congratulations to STC's Director, Martin Evans, for receiving a Highly Commended award at the Food and Farming Industry Awards recently.
Martin, who is also the CEO of Freshgro, when he's not busy at STC, won the award for his business acumen and his profile building marketing campaigns.
Martin, left, received his award during a ceremony at the House of Commons from entertainer Gyles Brandreth.
You can read more about the awards by clicking on this link.
Congratulations also to Dr Jennifer Banfield-Zanin who has now passed her PA1 and PA6 Assessments which enable her to independently carry out spraying for practical trial work.  This further develops her ability to transfer her entomological knowledge to the horticultural industry.
Sales of Stockbridge Honey Rocket for the second year running.

It has been a bumper year for the honey produced by Andrew Ellis from the bees he cares for at Stockbridge Technology Centre.

Sales were swift and the Soft Set Honey soon sold out.

Dr Claire Burns shares her expertise with European lettuce growers

Dr. Claire Burns, a member of the plant pathology team, participated in a workshop on downy mildew in lettuce at GEVES, the French seed and varieties inspection service, in Angers, France, on 4th November. The meeting was attended by a number of lettuce breeders and pathologists from across Europe, and examined lettuce varieties and races of Bremia lactucae, the causal agent of lettuce downy mildew, to define resistant and susceptible varieties.  The workshop was highly beneficial and will help STC move forwards in helping growers assess and deal with downy mildew in a British context. Also in November, Dr. Burns presented research at two HDC-run Leafy Salads Roadshow events, on 6th November (Huntapac, Lancashire) and 12th November (Chichester College). Claire talked about her work on a HDC-funded project to assess the prevalence of virus infection in outdoor lettuce. This work is ongoing, but it appears clear that more viruses are present than was hitherto suspected. Dr Burns found the roadshows enjoyable and productive: “It was great to have a chance to talk to lettuce growers directly and learn first-hand about their needs and priorities for the short and long term”. 

New Study Directors in the Agronomy Department

As Carole Rockliff (Study Director, Agronomy) takes a well-earned career break we welcome 2 new Study Directors, Catherine Davies, left and Alison Stead, right to our Agronomy Team.  Carole’s commitment and dedication to Stockbridge House, HRI and STC over the last 34 years has been immense and greatly valued.

Stockbridge Soundbites

We were delighted that the British Tomato Growers Association chose our conference facilities to host its Board and Technical Committee meetings recently. 
We'd like to wish all of our readers a happy and healthy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
We'll be back with a news update in January.
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