University of Reading

The University of Reading has world-class expertise and facilities in agri-tech, encompassing many disciplines across the whole University. This includes innovation in protected and vertical farming systems, precision agriculture, the use of remote sensing and on-farm sensors to manage and predict crop/livestock development as well as to assess and control key growth factors (such as disease), and methods for improving soil health. The University also has expertise in the use of big data to improve efficiency in the food value chain, including supporting resilient production systems in the context of climate change; as well as in the valorisation of food side streams and the development of food waste bio-refinery innovations. The University also has expertise in the economics, extension and ethics of agricultural innovation.

The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development is ranked 9th in the world for Agriculture and Forestry (QS rankings 2020), with specialisms in crop and livestock science, sustainable land management, international development, and applied economics and marking.

Researchers at Reading have access to four main farm research facilities. Brogdale Farm, in Kent, which holds the National Fruit Collection; The Centre for Dairy Research at Shinfield Farm, which is a unique, state-of-the-art scientific facility for applied and strategic large animal research; the 180-hectare Sonning farm, which is home to a 12-hectare Crop Research Unit and 360 dairy youngstock; and the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre.

Dr David Rose, who runs the Change in Agriculture research group, leads the Robot Highways project for Reading.

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