NIAB and TAG join forces to provide crop advice

A new alliance between NIAB and The Arable Group hopes to revitalise the link between crop research and on-farm crop management.

The NIAB TAG Network, launched at Cereals 2010, combines NIAB’s expertise in varieties and seeds with comprehensive crop management and agronomy information delivered by TAG.

The partnership will conduct field crops research and provide members with impartial variety and crop husbandry information based on robust science and rigorous trialling. Its knowledge base will be drawn from extensive staff expertise, research data and field trials from over 20 locations in England.

Speaking at the event, Stuart Knight, director of crops and agronomy at NIAB TAG, said its new membership packages are based on the results of extensive consultations with over 3000 existing members and industry stakeholders.

These include specific seed or agronomy packages, as well as corporate membership, so members can customise types of information and services they require.

“The seeds packages focus on giving members access to comprehensive results of national and regional variety performance,” said Mr Knight.

“Whereas agronomy packages provide exclusive access to robust, locally-relevant trials data with unbiased interpretation and advice to help members get the best out of varieties, agrochemicals and crop husbandry.”

Members will benefit from enhanced services and publications, including significant development of the member-only technical area of the NIAB TAG website, which is planned to go live in 2010/11.

Another benefit of the new alliance is the sharing of resources and costs. Mr Knight explained: “Some of our biggest expenses come from things like trial expenditure.”

“A new trials combine costs £200,000, which is difficult for one organisation to consider on its own. But being together makes it much easier to invest in such equipment.”

New membership pricelists are still being finalised and details are due for release later this summer, with the separate NIAB and TAG brands due to be replaced from October.