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NEWS: Launch of NIAB Digital at Cereals Event

03 May 2017

A new interactive farm software service, giving farmers and agronomists the ability to map, manage, store, share and compare farm, crop and research data, will be launched at the Cereals Event, on 14th June, by NIAB.

NIAB Digital, powered by technology and data science firm KisanHub, aims to improve farm business performance through data integration alongside crop decision support tools. Already available to NIAB TAG members, new subscribers will have access to digital field mapping, disease modelling tools, satellite imagery, farm and crop data storage, field specific weather forecasting, and crowd-sourced crop, pest and disease information. Additional services include ActivSmart, an interactive agrochemical product comparison tool, and Potato Crop Management and decision support services such as yield and quality forecasts and irrigation scheduling.NIAB at 2017 Cereals Event

Dr Juno McKee, Head of Crops and Agronomy Business Development at NIAB says, “Available on PC, smartphone and tablet, NIAB Digital is built on the KisanHub platform of core technologies which makes it easy to aggregate data from different sources, with simple to use dynamic interfaces.

“The Cereals Event will be our first opportunity to showcase the new service, which combines farm records with other datasets so that farmers can make informed day-to-day agronomic decisions. For example, the platform uses farm/field geo-locations to provide hyper-local weather forecasts and collect observations, for field activities planning, or it can blend these datasets to provide a risk level for a particular crop disease for proactive spray planning.”

In addition to the NIAB Digital launch, NIAB will be providing a tick list of agricultural innovations for growers and agronomists to check out, in addition to over 100 crop and variety demonstration plots.

Under the tagline ‘Innovation in…’ NIAB is demonstrating new fungicide chemistry, including strategies and the role of SDHIs alongside the future role of EU legislation post-Brexit, alongside the perennial favourites such as the winter wheat and winter oilseed rape variety demonstration plots.

NIAB Technical Director Bill Clark says: “With a comparison of wheat fungicide programme options in plots and a focus on the value of resistant varieties we will be providing an independent view on new chemistry, helping UK growers understand how they can and will be put into practice on farm and the economic and agronomic benefits in their use.”

The innovation theme continues with a look at new tools and technologies being used to transform plant breeding and arable farming. From GM to gene-editing, superwheat to MAGIC visitors can find out how wheat breeding research, and the use of new techniques, is improving the yield, efficiency and resilience of UK crop production. There are also demonstrations of the latest plant disease research with new diagnostic techniques in oilseed rape and field beans and the latest developments on yellow rust and field pathogenomics with the NIAB UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey team.NIAB at 2016 Cereals Event

Soils, rotations and cultivations
NIAB soil specialists are returning to the Cereals Event soil pit to demonstrate the positive impact of good soil health and management on crop vigour and yields, bio-diversity, and profitability.

Last year’s event featured an 8m long x 1.5m deep walk-through soil pit, demonstrating the impact of different crops on soil structure. It attracted so much interest that this year’s feature will more than double in size to 20m long, with the addition of a new compacted area, to illustrate the impact of poor soil structure on rooting ability.

NIAB TAG’s Farming Systems and Soils Specialist, Dr Nathan Morris says: “The soil pit will feature various combinable crop and cover crop plots, with a variety of sowing dates, providing a backdrop to advice on cultivations and rotations. You will be able to see what’s really going on beneath the surface, enabling more informed decisions about soil management back at home.”

Visitors will also get closer to the flora and fauna in soils with experts and demonstrations from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and Rothamsted Research in the soil marquee. NIAB is also demonstrating a range of rhizotrons, see-through boxes of soil, with transparent sides, that offer a unique window on the rooting structure of different crops.

NIAB at the 2017 Cereals Event - stand summary

NIAB will be providing the latest advice and research in independent agronomy, crop genetics and data science with a focus on future developments and the role of technology, including:

  • Launching NIAB Digital services, featuring field mapping tools, disease modelling, satellite imagery, farm and crop data storage, field specific weather forecasting, crowd-sourcing and precision farming techniques. Includes ActivSmart, an interactive agrochemical product comparison tool
  • variety demonstration plots - providing expert advice on winter wheat variety choice for 2017 with thirty established and new varieties plus 15 winter oilseed rape varieties with information on variety choice for spring oilseed rape, linseed, peas and beans.
  • innovation in new fungicide chemistry, new strategies and the role of SDHIs alongside the future role of EU legislation post-Brexit. Compare wheat fungicide programme options in the plots and understand the value of resistant varieties;
  • revolutionising arable crop breeding - new tools and technologies have the potential to transform arable crop breeding and arable farming. From GM to gene-editing, superwheat to MAGIC – find out how wheat breeding research, and the use of new techniques, is improving the yield, efficiency and resilience of UK crop production;
  • understanding the risk factors for black-grass control in winter oilseed rape, winter wheat and spring cereals;
  • the latest developments on yellow rust and field pathogenomics with the NIAB UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey team;
  • plant disease research and new diagnostic techniques in oilseed rape and field beans;
  • discovering the science and skills behind NIAB’s unique and long-established plant phenotyping and seed certification services, testing over 1,000 new varieties every year;
  • improving skills development in the arable sectors with ARTIS - transferring the latest innovations and developments in crop research, knowledge and legislation into practice on farm with a range of practical and online courses.
  • NIAB TAG membership services including the latest crop production advice and farmer-led research, field days, agronomy trials results, unique regional variety information and weekly agronomy updates through the season.NIAB in the Cereals Event Soil Pit

The return of the Soil Pit – a unique opportunity to check out the Cereals Event soil profile at eye level and study the rooting of a range of cover and cereal crops. NIAB soil specialists, working with Rothamsted Research soil scientists, will be demonstrating in a larger walk-through pit for visitors.

  • now 20m long, 4m wide and 1.5m deep
  • new compacted area to illustrate the impact of poor soil structure on rooting ability
  • advice on soil management, rotations, cultivations and fertility building
  • advice on cover crops including crop choice, agronomy and management