Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More crop per drop: Reducing water footprint of cultivated herbs

Date:
August 4, 2014
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
New research is aiming to reduce the water footprint and increase shelf life of potted and cut herb production in the UK. Focusing on a range of potted and cut herbs, including flat-leaved parsley, basil and coriander, the aim is to reduce the use of irrigation water during crop production, while improving the flavor and quality of the herbs. It has already been shown in other growing systems that substantial water savings can be made without detrimental impacts on crop quality.

Potted basil.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Southampton

New research from the University of Southampton is aiming to reduce the water footprint and increase shelf life of potted and cut herb production in the UK.

Focusing on a range of potted and cut herbs, including flat-leaved parsley, basil and coriander, the aim is to reduce the use of irrigation water during crop production, while improving the flavour and quality of the herbs. It has already been shown in other growing systems that substantial water savings can be made without detrimental impacts on crop quality.

The project is led by Professor Gail Taylor from the University of Southampton and builds on research findings from a BBSRC IPA (Industrial Partnering Award) with Vitacress Ltd.

The project was awarded from the Annual Sainsbury's Supermarket Agricultural R&D Grant -- where growers, suppliers and researchers are asked to compete for a pot of 1 million provided by Sainsbury's.

More than 18 million pots of herbs are produced in the UK each year and much of this production is undertaken by Vitacress under glass in Sussex. Cut herbs are grown widely in the UK summer and overseas in winter.

Professor Taylor says: "It's hard to imagine a world without fresh herbs and yet this product has only been on our supermarket shelves for the past ten years or so and much remains to be learned to optimise the use of water in cultivation. We will use the latest technologies in thermal and remote imaging to assess precisely when irrigation should be applied, targeting water to best effect and helping Sainsbury's to achieve their targets for the 20 x 20 Sustainability Plan, which includes a robust water stewardship commitment from suppliers and also a target to double the amount of British food sold.

"This research, we hope, will contribute to both of these aspirations, while at the same time increasing our fundamental knowledge on the way in which plants use water."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "More crop per drop: Reducing water footprint of cultivated herbs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804100105.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2014, August 4). More crop per drop: Reducing water footprint of cultivated herbs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804100105.htm
University of Southampton. "More crop per drop: Reducing water footprint of cultivated herbs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804100105.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A Spanish scientist, who spent 12 days trapped about 1300 feet underground in a cave in Peru's remote Amazon region, was rescued on Tuesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Rescuers were forced to suspend plans to recover at least two dozen bodies from near the summit of Mount Ontake in central Japan on Tuesday after increased seismic activity raised concern about the possibility of another eruption. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins