Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation

Agri-Diagnostics & Biosecurity

Agri-Diagnostics and Biosecurity

Maximising a range of goods and services in the agri-food sector requires accurate measurement, both in space and time. To help safeguard supply, agri-diagnostic technologies have been identified as a key area of development for the Institute.

There is a large suite of diagnostic technologies that have the potential for use anywhere in the agri-food chain.

Chief among these are technologies to predict and to track plant health, pest and disease threats and contaminations. This is within commodity storage and processed goods in the area of biosecurity research.

These technologies are also able to improve our understanding of quality in agricultural production and processing.

We address the challenges of delivering 'integrated' solutions to safeguard yield and quality in arable and horticultural crops.

We also aim to better monitor and understand the role that the agricultural environment, production systems and supply chain practices have on our health.

We aim to find solutions to these problems across a diverse range of scenarios in the supply chain. We link state-of the-art diagnostic laboratory facilities at Fera with Newcastle’s NU-Farms agri-systems innovation platform. This makes a direct link from lab-to-farm and back again. It promotes both the development and the translation of these technologies.

This links production-oriented researchers at Newcastle with expertise in the well-being, human food and nutrition, health and behaviour of animals, precision farming, agro-ecology and biodiversity with experts at Fera in laboratory and controlled environment diagnostics of crop health, pest and disease.

This ensures that diagnostics are not limited to a measurement but transform into real management tools.