In the mid‐1950s English watercress growers faced ruin. A disease known as crook root was spreading rapidly and threatened to infect all the watercress beds in Britain. The problem was brought to the attention of scientists at the National Vegetable Research Station, which had been established in 1949 by the Agricultural Research Council, at Wellesbourne, near Stratford‐upon‐Avon. In a relatively short time a cure was found and the organism causing the disease is now controlled by the addition of traces of zinc salts to the water. It is no exaggeration to say that NVRS saved British watercress production.
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