26 May 2015 | Online since 2003



28 May 2014|News

Scottish farmers voice concern over job cuts


Scotland’s growers have voiced their concern at the impact that planned job cuts may have on the nation’s invaluable research and development effort.

Farmers on NFU Scotland’s Combinable Crops committee, and working groups for Potatoes and Soft Fruit/Field Vegetables have always attached great value to the work carried out by the James Hutton Institute - the interdisciplinary scientific research institute created from the amalgamation of the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) and the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (MLURI) in 2011.

However, the James Hutton Institute, based in Invergowrie and Aberdeen, is to cut up to 70 jobs as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme aimed at reducing costs.

In recent days, the Union’s committees and working groups have all discussed the matter and are seeking reassurances that vital research effort in key areas will be unaffected.

Union representatives are scheduled to meet with JHI Chief Executive Ian Gordon next week to discuss the matter.

NFU Scotland Policy Manager Peter Loggie said: “The JHI is famed for its world-leading research on barley, potatoes and soft fruit but behind that is hugely valuable generic work for growers on sustainable farming systems, soils, nematodes, plant pests and diseases that are all vitally important to maintaining and enhancing farm efficiency.

“The JHI has a crucial role to play if food production is going to keep pace with population growth while at the same time being challenged by issues such as climate change, legislation, input costs, plant protection product availability and the loss of productive farm land to urbanisation.”

Combinable Crops Chairman Andrew Moir added: “There is a well-documented correlation between research being scaled back and agricultural production tailing off. The dramatic fall in R&D expenditure across Europe since the 1980’s will have contributed to the yield plateau that growers are now experiencing.

“Growers want to see the skills, knowledge and expertise at JHI retained and strengthened to the benefit of our own agricultural industry and beyond.”

Chairman of the Union’s Soft Fruit and Field Vegetable Working Group, Peter Thomson said: "I have spoken to the Chief Executive of JHI in the past few days and have an appreciation of the budgetary pressures that the institute faces. However, it has a world-leading position in basic agricultural research for growers – whether that be cereals, potatoes or soft fruit – and a reputation for delivering valuable work on varieties and plant diseases back to growers.

“While much of that work benefits Scottish growers, such is the value of the research taking place at JHI, that its reach and impact is worldwide. That is a real asset and something worth protecting.”

Download




Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


15 May 2015
Job for a Tractor driver near Swindon
Contractor looking for experienced tractor driver, for operations in, grass silage making, baling and wrapping, maize silage ...

20 July 2015
Massey Ferguson big baler driver for harvest work: Job in Yorkshire
Contractor looking for an experienced tractor driver to operate Massey Ferguson big square baler and other farm duties.

19 July 2015
Tractor/Telehandler Driver and general farm worker
Harvest worker required to join a team of three on a 1000 acre arable farm near Devizes, Wiltshire for the harvest and autumn...

1 July 2015
Job for  Over 20 --Grain Dryer Operator Tractor driver>>>Nuneaton
Large estate with 2,500 acres of combinable crops requires English Speaking Grain dryer operator for a continual flow sys...

11 May 2015
BEEF AND ARABLE OPPORTUNITY >>>> Colchester,
To join team on progressive beef and arable enterprise. Some experience necessary but plenty of opportunity given to pro...



Top stories you may have missed
15 May 2015 | Arable

Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead is calling on the Europ...


15 May 2015 | Finance

As the country settles down following the turmoil of the general election, ...


14 May 2015 | Animal Health

New research from the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge has found that ...


13 May 2015 | Animal Health

A new publication to help farmers prevent sheep lameness and offer advice o...


12 May 2015 | Agri Safety

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is putting the spotlight on Liver fluke at next...


5 May 2015 | News

The UK is now third in the global rankings for utility-scale solar energy a...


29 April 2015 | Agri Safety

A recent Rural Watch demonstration and information event gave Farmers’ Unio...


24 April 2015 | Meat Processing

Retailers should confirm their commitments to sourcing UK lamb this season,...


15 April 2015 | Meat Processing

A leading retailer has apologised after selling imported lamb in a Borders ...


9 April 2015 | Finance

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...