Crop R&D

Research and monitoring services to provide evidence, solutions and advice on controlling pests and diseases in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

Crop R&D

To nurture healthy plants and crops, increasing food productivity sustainably and protect the environment our work focuses on strategic research into the biology and control of diseases of agricultural, horticultural and tree health importance. A key theme for us is in disease surveillance and risk forecasting which is strongly supported by our expertise and specialist knowledge in epidemiology, pathogen and disease identification, molecular diagnosis, spatial aspects of disease spread, knowledge management and transfer. 

The team is dedicated to the development of technologies that enable stakeholders to make decisions across the agri-food chain and in the environment. Our interest is in the application of generic solutions such as PCR, isothermal amplification and next generation sequencing techniques. In particular we have considerable expertise in developing diagnostics for front line use. We work with growers, agronomists and Defra developing methods to enable better detect of plant pathogens in propagation material, soil, water and air. Early detection of pathogens in crops enables us to initiate control measures much earlier, preventing spread and reducing the impact of disease. We offer the most comprehensive range of testing services and are the UK's largest tester of crop health testing in excess of 8,500 samples a year.

  • around one third of the global harvest is lost to weeds, pests and diseases every year. Presenting a major challenge to both agriculture & our natural environment.
  • we can help with identification, risk assessment, monitoring and control of key pests and pathogens affecting crops and plants (both quarantine and non-quarantine).
  • Our work on plant diseases includes surveillance and risk forecasting, supported by our expertise in epidemiology, pathogen and disease identification and molecular diagnosis.
  • we can help you to detect, identify and control pests in growing crops and stored produce, and support the development of novel biological and chemical pesticides.



DROPSA is a 4-year project involving 26 partners from Europe, Asia, New Zealand and North America. Focusing on emerging threats due to Drosophila suzukii, and other bacterial pathogens damaging soft fruits.

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