The Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) was launched in April 2001 to ensure continued technological developments for the horticultural industry. This grower-led initiative has created an independent horticultural centre of excellence supported by both the production and supply sectors of the industry.
The Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) continues to advance the development of technology in the horticultural industry.
The combination of facilities available at STC is unique within the UK. There are over 70ha of good quality irrigated land capable of growing most horticultural and arable crops. The protected crops unit consists of over 40 modern glasshouses (ranging from 12 to 1000m2) suitable for both small-scale studies and commercial demonstration trials. Several compartments have lights and benching installed for work on bedding and pot plants. All glasshouses and compartments are controlled with Priva Integro computers. There is also an area of Spanish tunnels.
Recent investment has been a LED facility with multi-tiered benching to look at developing lighting regimes for a range of crops. Four glasshouse compartments have also been upgraded with different lighting systems including LED for projects on high wire crops.
Modern laboratories and culture rooms allow indigenous pests and diseases to be produced for controlled release in glasshouse and field experiments. This approach provides robust testing conditions for efficacy studies and avoids the need to rely on unpredictable natural infections or infestations.
The Stockbridge site (formerly a MAFF,horticultural research and development station) has a long tradition of growing horticultural crops, especially vegetable and salad crops, since the 1950s. The sandy loam is well suited to growing high yielding crops with irrigation used to maintain growth during dry weather. Off-centre sites are used for selected crops particularly if different geographical areas or when soil types are required. The site also undertakes trials on arable crops for a range of clients.
The company has Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) certification for undertaking Eco-toxicology and residue studies and also ORETO for efficacy studies.