SCIENTISTS in the region are to carry out pioneering research into improving the resilience, sustainability and quality of UK crop.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced that the University of York has been awarded £1.2m to carry out the work.

It is part of a funding package worth around £5.3m which will go to four of the UK’s leading agricultural research centres to develop new technologies and innovative production for farmers and growers across the country.

Research teams at York will use their share to develop new scientific insights to boost the productivity, quality and value of the UK’s oilseed rape.

Mr Gove said: “Developing new technology is crucial to making sure our farmers can continue to grow world-class produce in an environmentally friendly way.

“Through this new fund, I hope to see the creation of new and innovative growing practices and crop protections so we can truly unlock the potential of our food and farming industries.”

Professor Ian Bancroft, who leads the agricultural research centre at the University of York, said: “We aim to support industry in long-term, sustainable rapeseed production by utilising UK expertise in plant genetics to better understand specific crop traits.

"Innovation through these networks is essential if we are to see growth in healthy crop production.”

The Government has so far invested £160m through the Agri-Tech strategy to harness the latest agricultural research and technologies and translate that into more sustainable and profitable food production for British farmers.