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Aber Uni look into plant protein production

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ABERYSTWYTH UNIVERSITY plant scientists are playing a leading role in new research into breeding forage legume and grain legume crops, to address protein feed requirements in Europe and China.

The EUCLEG project (European and Chinese legumes) was recently granted €5M through the European Union Horizon 2020 programme.

The work at Aberystwyth University is led by Dr Leif Skøt from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS).

Dr Skøt said: “Europe and China have in common a low level of homegrown protein. They import 30% and 60% respectively, of the world plant protein production for both human and animal nutrition.

“However, both continents have regions with appropriate agro-ecological conditions for the production of plant proteins, and it is possible for them to reduce dependency on imports by increasing their own production of plant protein.”

The project will focus on alfalfa and red clover, peas, faba beans and soybeans.

Selected for their agronomic properties, economic relevance and current use in Europe and China, the study aims to generate new varieties and fresh momentum in growing these potentially significant crops.

The development of legume-based grassland–livestock systems is acknowledged as a cornerstone for more sustainable and competitive ruminant production systems.

Dr David Lloyd, IBERS legume breeder said: “Grain legumes have a major role in EUCLEG, however, the project will also focus on forage crops that can deliver up to 2.3 tonnes protein per hectare per year while grain legumes reach up to 1.3 tonnes/ha.”

The team aims to broaden the genetic base of legume crops, to analyse the genetic diversity of European and Chinese legumes by looking at yield and quality in the context of climate change.

This will lead to understanding the genetic architecture of key breeding traits using the latest genetic techniques and to evaluate the benefits brought by genomic selection to create new legume varieties.

The breeders in the EUCLEG consortium will exploit these results to create the new varieties needed to improve protein production.

Comprehensive searchable databases containing passport data, as well as agronomic and genetic features will be developed.

Additional positive environmental impacts from the EUCLEG project include other ecosystem services such as energy saving, improvement of soil structure and composition, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity.

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Police appeal for missing Aberystwyth man

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is concerned for the welfare of 43-year-old old Matthew Roberts, missing from Aberystwyth. He was last seen in Aberaeron on Tuesday (May 22).

Matthew is described as being around 6 ft 3 tall, slim, with shoulder length blonde hair. He is thought to be wearing either a red or a yellow and white coat, a hat, jeans, and carrying a large rucksack.

He has links to the Milford Haven, Cardigan, Aberaeron and Fishguard areas and is thought to be travelling on foot.

Anyone who has seen Matthew, or knows of his whereabouts, is urged to call 101. If you If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20180521-299”

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Behave or Be Banned scheme returns to tackle disorder

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Dyfed-Powys Police is working with licensees across the region to relaunch Behave or Be Banned (BOBB) – a scheme which sees people banned from pubs, clubs and bars for bad behaviour.

The scheme re-launches in time for the bank holiday weekend (May 25) and Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) across the force area are closely linked with businesses to reduce violence and disorder in pubs and clubs.

Chief Inspector Mark McSweeney said: “BOBB is an effective tool to help prevent, reduce and combat alcohol-related offences within communities.

“If anyone is arrested for a crime of violence, disorder or anti-social behaviour in licensed premises, or after leaving a licensed establishment in the Scheme, they will be banned from not just that licensed premises, but all licensed premises that display the Behave or Be Banned sign within the area.

“The message is simple – Behave or Be Banned!  In addition, if someone is a persistent nuisance for a licensee but their behaviour doesn’t merit arrest, licensees can also put them forward to receive a ban from all licensed premises.”

Problem customers are banned not just from the one pub but all those in the area that have signed up. It also tackles underage drinking and the use and supply of drugs.

Mr McSweeney added: “BOBB works.  It is not uncommon to see people being more concerned about whether they can get into a pub with their friends than they are about being arrested.

“Licensees will not tolerate anti-social behaviour in their premises and BOBB keeps such people out, making it safer and more enjoyable for everyone else.”

Dyfed-Powys Police’s summer campaign – #EnjoyDPP – encourages people to enjoy what the area has to offer, safely and with respect for others.

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Proposed work on dangerous Dorglwyd Junction set to be delayed

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ELIN JONES AM and Ben Lake MP have expressed their frustration following a recent statement from the Welsh Government noting that work on the A487 Dorglwyd junction from Comins Coch, would be delayed.

The junction has witnessed several crashes and close-calls over recent years, with local residents calling for the development of a roundabout or similar traffic-calming measures.

The Welsh Government announced in September 2016 that a feasibility study would be undertaken by the following Summer as to consider potential options to improve the junction.

However, a recent letter from Ken Skates AM, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport to Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP noted: “We are aware of the issues at the junction and an improvement scheme has been within our upgrades programme for some time. Unfortunately, due to limited financial resources and competing priorities, it has progressed slowly.”

“We are currently reviewing the scope of a possible improvement and considering solutions which are affordable and minimise environmental impact. When we are in a position to present outline solutions, a workshop with local stakeholders will be held. This is likely to be in early 2019.”

Elin Jones AM said: “Whilst I do welcome such clarification from the Cabinet Secretary on the next steps for Dorglwyd junction, it is disappointing to read that no major works for the transformation will happen due to the expense of the project. It is positive however to see that a smaller scale improvement is now to be pursued, with consultation likely to be undertaken in early 2019.”

John Roberts, local Ceredigion County Councillor for Faenor ward, added: “I share both Elin Jones’ and Ben Lake’s disappointment at the response from Ken Skates AM. The original plan was to encapsulate a more global project including the Llanbadarn bypass therefore we need to be more realistic in our aspirations for Dorglwyd corner. Having discussed the project on site with both Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP last week we were of the opinion that a much smaller project which could solve the Dorglwyd issue was feasible and be much cheaper than the present scheme. We will wait for the consultation period in 2019.”

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