NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

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Crop Inspectors

For cereals, pulses, herbage, oil & fibre crops and sugar beet

Contact: Claire Carpenter
Tel: 01223 342216

The Crop Inspectors courses concentrate on the botany, classification and identification of species and varieties and also cover the theory and practice of crop inspection. Training is given by NIAB staff experienced in the certification and inspection of the relevant crops. The courses are designed to provide appropriate training for candidates sitting the Defra examinations for a Seed Crop Inspectors Licence of the appropriate category.

All courses include:

  • Comprehensive literature
  • Detailed instructions of crop inspection techniques
  • NIAB Certificate of Proficiency indicating PASS, MERIT or DISTINCTION for those who reach the required standard.

 

More information on NIAB course dates and fees

CEREAL COURSE will teach candidates how to identify varieties of wheat, barley and oats using a range of predominately ear and grain. The course is held in two parts with Part I held in January over a four-day period, when candidates are introduced to the botanical characters and the theory and practices of crop inspection. The course concludes with an examination.

Part II is held in our purpose-grown teaching plots on one day in June. Candidates will apply the knowledge learned in the Part I course to identify varieties and mixtures of varieties in vivo. The course concludes with an examination. Successful completion of both examinations results in the award of a category ‘A’ crop inspectors licence which authorises the inspector to inspect cereal crops producing seed of Certified categories.

Oil seed rapePULSE COURSE is held on one day in June. Candidates will learn how to identify varieties of field peas and field beans in our purpose-grown teaching plots as well as the theory and practices of crop inspection. The course concludes with an examination. Successful candidates will be awarded a category ‘J’ crop inspectors licence which authorises the inspector to inspect pea and bean crops producing seed of Certified categories.

HERBAGE COURSE is held over two days in May. Candidates will learn how to identify major agricultural grass species and weed grasses that can cause problems in seed crops, in our purpose-grown teaching plots in our purpose-grown teaching plots. They will also learn the techniques for distinguishing different varieties of the same grass species, clovers, vetches and lupins as well as the theory and practices of crop inspection. The course concludes with an examination. Successful candidates will be awarded a category ‘L’ crop inspectors licence which authorises the inspector to inspect herbage crops producing seed of Certified categories.

OIL & FIBRE COURSE is held over two days in October. Candidates will learn how to identify a range of Brassica species including oilseed rape, fodder rape, swedes, turnips, turnip rapes and mustards as well as other oil and fibre species including linseed, flax, hemp, fodder radish and fodder beet in our purpose-grown teaching plots. They will also learn the techniques for distinguishing different varieties of these species as well as the theory and practices of crop inspection. The course concludes with an examination. Successful candidates will be awarded a category ‘K’ crop inspectors licence which authorises the inspector to inspect oil and fibre crops producing seed of Certified categories.

 

All licensed crop inspectors are required to be re-examined every five years in order to maintain their licence. NIAB holds these examinations and runs training courses to help inspectors sitting the examinations.

Further information on Seed Certification Schemes