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Warwick Celebrates 70 Years of Pioneering Crop Research

Over a century of industry leaders, scientists, and researchers gathered at Warwick's Wellesbourne campus to mark seven decades of groundbreaking crop research.


Image Source: The Business Magazine

Professor Tim Lang, a distinguished expert in food policy, delivered a keynote address emphasising the critical role of horticulture in addressing the UK's food security and climate change challenges. "Horticulture could and should be good news for the UK," he asserted, highlighting the potential of institutions like the Warwick Crop Centre to bolster the nation's vegetable production.


Sue Kennedy of Elsoms Seeds provided insights into the commercial landscape of vegetable genetics and breeding, complementing Professor Lang's emphasis on the importance of the field.


Professor Rosemary Collier, a leading entomologist at the Warwick Crop Centre, reflected on the institution's legacy of scientific breakthroughs. "Over the last 70 years, research at Wellesbourne has produced large numbers of scientific advances," she noted, highlighting their impact on pest and disease management, crop resilience, and consumer satisfaction.


Professor Collier also underscored the urgency of addressing climate change's impact on agriculture. "Increases in temperature and the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events are bringing with them more challenging growing conditions," she warned, emphasising the need for research to ensure a stable food supply.


The Wellesbourne research station, established after the Second World War, has played a pivotal role in enhancing vegetable production in the UK. Professor Lorenzo Frigerio, Head of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick, affirmed the continued significance of the facility's work.


"The University of Warwick continues to drive forward pioneering research into some of the UK’s most valuable vegetable crops," he stated, underscoring the institution's commitment to innovation in the field.


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