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Centre for Alternative Land Use


CALU NEWS - December 2005


Cranberries to combat tooth decay?
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, have found that cranberries contain compounds which stop plaque causing bacteria from clinging to the teeth. The researchers are not yet sure which compounds in cranberries have this effect. Meantime they caution against eating excessive amounts of cranberry containg products as they are usually also high in sugar. The ultimate goal is to identify the caries fighting compounds in cranberries and put them into toothpastes.
Source: BBC


CALU's potato blight trial project nears completion
Harvesting of the crop from CALU's potato blight trial project at Llanrhystud was delayed due to bad weather. However, all the crop is now in and work has begun on production of the final report.
The project looked at the ability of several varieties of Sarpo potatoes to withstand late blight (Phytophthora infestans).
The full report will be available here in the near future.

  Biomass Task Force Report
The report of a year long study into the role biomass can play in the UK's energy economy was published at the end of October.

The Chairman of the Task Force, Sir Ben Gill, stated that biomass should have a significant role to play, particularly in the generation of heat. He explained that heat is often overlooked in energy calculations, but accounts for 40% of the UK's energy consumption. Biomass is the only readily available renewable source of heat energy.
View the full report here.  

New Hygiene Regulations for primary producers
New Food Hygiene regulations come into force on 1st January 2006 which will affect all food businesses including primary producers (e.g. farmers and growers).

See the Food Standards Agency website for further information or contact your local Environmental Health Service.

  Walnuts from Wales?
There is increasing interest in walnut production across the UK as a whole. The UK currently imports the majority of its walnuts and walnut products and there is reputed to be a significant market opportunity for local growers. Developments in walnut propagation and cultivation technologies mean that nuts can be produced after only three years with specially grafted trees. Grafted Walnuts, based in Carmarthenshire are specialist suppliers of grafted walnut trees.
Read the NFU article "Walnuts, a cash crop for the future" here.

Sales of British raspberries and other small fruits soar
British Summer Fruits have reported a 40% rise in the value of British raspberries to £28m.

Sales of British strawberries were also up by 13% in value.

Meanwhile, cherries and blackberries saw significant rises in volume of sales - up 71% and 49% respectively.

And Ocean Spray report that sales of fresh cranberries have increased by 3% in 2005.
Source: The Grocer







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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 WDA and Welsh Assembly Government