UWB Crest

Centre for Alternative Land Use


CALU NEWS - May 2006


Planting has begun at CALU's novel crop demonstration sites. Open Days will be held at the sites in early July and late August (see the Events page for details).

Caliente and standard mustards were sown at the potato demonstration site in mid-April. They will grow for six to eight weeks before being ploughed in and followed with a potato crop to test their efficacy in combating wireworms. The first Open Day for the project will be held on 19th July (see Events page for further details).




In response to the Biomass Task Force Report issued last year, Defra has published its response in the form of a Biomass Action Plan. The plan is primarily focused on England, but there are cross cutting themes of relevance to Wales. Importantly, the plan recognises the important contribution that heat production from biomass can make, rather than focusing solely on power generation.

The full report is available from the Defra website (click here to open the document - pdf 626KB)


Preliminary results are beginning to come through from Hargreaves Plants major asparagus trials.
In the UK, asaparagus production is almost exclusively from two varieties - Gijnlim and Backlim. Hargreaves trials are looking at over 200 varieties which would greatly improve production opportunities for UK growers.
The project will be holding an Open Day at the Norfolk trial site on August 9th when results will be revealed for the first time.
Demand for asparagus has shown a steady increase, matched by an increase in the area planted. There are currently 1,000ha of asparagus in the UK, with an estimated value of £20m.


Herb growers are being encouraged to keep an eye out for the Rosemary Beetle (Chrysolina americana). This little bug (see photo above) mainly affects rosemary and lavender, but will also infest thyme and sage.

During early summer, the beetles do little damage to plants, but later on in the season they will begin mating and once their eggs have hatched, both the adult beetle and the larvae will devour plants.

For further information visit the RHS website.


This year's herbal medicine awareness week runs from May 19th to May 26th.

The HTA reported high spending levels at garden centres over the Easter weekend period, with figures said to be up by 5% on last year.
The Easter weekend is traditionally one of the busiest and most important for the retail horticultural industry.

Contact us:

If you have a news item you would like to see featured on CALU's News page, please contact us:

e-mail: calu@bangor.ac.uk


Efficient use of water within horticultural production systems is of ever increasing concern. The Environment Agency is inviting horticultural companies who have developed efficient water management systems to apply for a Water Efficiency Award. The deadline for receipt of entries is 31st August 2006.

For further information on the Awards, visit the Environment Agency's website or e-mail paula.wood@environment-agency.gov.uk


CALU exists to transfer technology to any business in Wales that is interested in horticulture, biomass, alternative crops, alternative livestock and/or farm woodlands.

CALU is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government