AERU AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH UNIT
 

Case studies

Technical advice

  • NIAB Newsletter: AERU are the authors of the pesticide and environment related content of NIAB’s monthly e-newsletter, and have been collating and disseminating news articles on these subjects for a number of years based on our holistic understanding of the issues facing UK agriculture.

Software development

  • FOOTPRINT: This research project is part of the 6th Framework Programme, and has developed a suite of three pesticide risk prediction and management tools, for use at different scales. AERU have developed the farm-scale tool FOOT-FS, which aims to assist in the development of environmentally sound pesticide strategies by identifying the activities and pathways that most contribute to the contamination of water resources, and providing advice on mitigation.
  • GREENERGY: This project examined the energy consumption characteristics of European glasshouse production systems, and produced a tool for auditing energy efficiency in greenhouses, a set of technical improvement measures and a guideline for the optimisation of energy consumption.
  • Planning Your Entry Level Stewardship Application: On behalf of the RSPB, AERU developed this simple package that allows farmers to formulate an Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) strategy that is of maximum benefit to farmland biodiversity. It assists the user to select a series of management options that will suit a particular farm type, and bird species and other wildlife of particular significance. As a result, the points requirement of the farm can be met, whilst making a valuable contribution to the preservation and encouragement of our rural wildlife heritage.
  • OrgPlan: AERU and the Institute of Rural Studies at the University of Wales Aberystwyth developed this organic conversion planning tool, in collaboration with Rothamsted, SAC (The Scottish Agricultural College) and Elm Farm Research Centre.
  • Environmental Management for Agriculture (EMA): This is an award winning computer software package that provides a comprehensive suite of tools, information and assessment routines designed to help the farming industry improve its environmental performance. The software is for the 'public good' and aims to help develop a more sustainable agriculture.

Web services

  • Defra’s Whole Farm Approach (WFA): As part of the Whole Farm Approach (WFA), an 'Appraisal' has been developed by AERU. This is an electronic self-assessment questionnaire in which individual questions are linked to key industry documents, codes of practice and legislation, held within the ADLib resource. As a result, it is possible to guide users to precisely the information they need to ensure that the ‘appraisal’ becomes a powerful tool for encouraging best practice.
  • FACTS website: The ADLib resource has been used to develop a number of bespoke libraries for clients including FACTS. These sites are password protected, and include a range of documents drawn from the core ADLib library, as well as specific documents only available to subscribers to that particular client.
  • EMA On-line: This website is the primary subscription service developed from the ADLib resource, and is the UK’s most comprehensive site covering agri-environmental best practice and related issues, encompassing over 1,600 documents and 35,000 pages, all cross linked and searchable.
  • ADLib: Building on the library produced for the award winning EMA software, ADLib has been developed jointly by AERU at the University of Hertfordshire and TLR Ltd (Everysite), as a primary on-line and off-line information resource for the industry, and is the foundation of a number of subscription and client services.

Data services

  • PPDB: The PPDB (Pesticide Properties DataBase) is a comprehensive relational database of pesticide physicochemical and ecotoxicological data, developed by AERU with additional input from the EU-funded FOOTPRINT project. It is freely available on-line, and can be purchased in MS Access format for inclusion in research projects and regulatory assessments.

Full details of these and other relevant projects can be found in our Projects section.

University of Hertfordshire
©
University of Hertfordshire, 2014.