Reporter 405, 30 June 1997


Farming for the future on display at Yorkshire Show

Silage effluent is a major problem for farmers – it is a pollutant up to 200 times stronger than domestic sewage, reducing oxygen levels in water and adding acid to soil. Research by the departments of Animal Physiology and Nutrition and Microbiology has developed a natural way of detoxifying silage, using a form of yeast which produces a byproduct that could be used as animal feed.

This is just one University area which will be exhibited at this year's Great Yorkshire Show. Departments from the University will join the Central Science Laboratory of MAFF, and the universities of Hull and Newcastle to mount the Northern Universities Exhibition of on-going research in agriculture, agricultural sciences, horticulture and environmental sciences.

Other exhibits include "The Canada goose in Yorkshire: beauty or beast" (Department of Biology and the Central Science Laboratory), in which a computer model to help control this beautiful bird that not only damages crops and grassland but also fouls amenity areas will be displayed. "Non-chemical approaches to the control of sheep ectoparasites" (Department of Biology) will exhibit ongoing research to develop vaccines against sheep scab and sheep strike, currently controlled by the use of organophosphate sheep dips which are potentially damaging to the environment and hazardous to the health of agricultural workers.

"A generic tool for catchment management planning" (School of Geography) explains a computer system developed to aid the long-term planning of a catchment (water resource, water quality, recreation and conservation) through the production of hazard maps for colour, metals and microbiological risk. "Recent research on barley yellow dwarf virus" (Central Science Laboratory and Department of Biology) will display information on insecticide resistance in aphids, distribution of the disease and the development of a rapid technique for the early diagnosis of the virus.

The show will be held at the Showground, Harrogate on July 8, 9 and 10. For further information contact Professor Donald Lee, Department of Biology, email: pab6dll@leeds.ac.uk
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