University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > Crop Science Seminar: Pre-breeding, food security and net zero: so much to do, so little time and money

Crop Science Seminar: Pre-breeding, food security and net zero: so much to do, so little time and money

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  • UserPhil Howell, Head of Cereals Pre-Breeding, NIAB
  • ClockWednesday 23 March 2022, 10:30-11:30
  • HouseOnline.

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UK farming is at something of a tipping point, subject to multiple societal, environmental, economic and political pressures. The trade-offs between food/nutritional security, biodiversity, fuel/energy production, soil health and water quality are manifold, complex and nuanced. However it is clear is that the status quo is regarded as unsustainable: we must expect crop genetics, soils and farming systems to do a lot more, and agrochemicals a lot less, of the heavy lifting in the future. Given the drawn-out timescales involved in crop breeding, we need to first assemble and then interrogate diverse genetic toolkits within and across crops, to increase genetic gain and maximise stability. Furthermore, we need to be open to evaluating these against different metrics, including challenging the current variety development and registration paradigms. I will present a virtual tour through our diverse portfolio of field crop pre-breeding and breeding, which includes cereals, legumes, oilseeds and others, and some of the opportunities that seem to be cropping up (pun intended).

Due to having to go online, we are restricting the talks to University of Cambridge and alumni to keep them as informal as possible.

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This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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