SCIENCE, research and innovation underpin the future of agriculture in Scotland – and while the Royal Highland Show showcases the very best of farming, food and rural life, it could be argued that it is a scientific event as well.

Certainly Scotland's James Hutton Institute believes so, and will be showcasing its world-leading research on crops, land and the environment at the show, through exhibits portraying the future of agriculture, vertical farming, developments in soft fruit, integrated pest management, peatland restoration, water research, forestry, soil health, sustainability and work to address the current climate emergency.

Hutton scientists will offer the public clues as to what Scotland’s dinner plate will look like in 2050 comparing it to its counterpart from 80 years ago, on the eve of World War II, and showing how current socio-economic circumstances posed by geopolitical change present both opportunities and threats.

Our researchers will also show and tell visitors to the show how science is helping develop extraordinary innovation and new understanding to respond to future challenges – for instance, how vertical farming can help reduce water wastage, agrochemical use and food miles.

On the first day of the show, Thursday June 20, the Hutton will host a reception and talks about how the £62m of support from the Tay Cities Deal will deliver 'game-changing' benefits through the International Barley Hub and Advanced Plant Growth Centre.

On Friday June 21, the Institute will hold its 'Superfoods Breakfast', featuring produce grown on Scotland’s only vertical farm, leading into the presentation of the 2019 Best Soil in Show award, which draws attention to the need for active management of soils. The prize-giving for new entrants to agriculture, organised by the EU-funded NEWBIE project will take place immediately thereafter.

To find out about practical applications of the Institute’s research, visit the Hutton marquee on Avenue Q of the showground at Ingliston.

Children attending the show can get stuck into fun activities to help them discover the future of food at the Institute’s stand in the RHET Children's Discovery Centre.

You can also visit to learn more about how JHI research is driving the sustainable use of land and natural resources.