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National Agronomy Centre

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  • Join NIAB TAG in helping to secure the future of independent research
  • Concise access to independent arable R&D
  • Opportunities to visit National Agronomy Centre research sites
  • Keep in touch with R&D developments and issues
  • Gateway to more NIAB TAG services

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TMAF Newsletter 2015

The National Agronomy Centre (NAC) Initiative is an independent, charitably funded programme that provides widely accessible, production-focused, applied research and knowledge transfer to the industry through an open route. Independent applied agronomy research, based on sound science and robust field evaluation, is essential to build understanding and to underpin strategic decision-making on farm.

The NAC initiative also helps to ensure that research outcomes are demonstrated, communicated and translated effectively into best practice. In addition to research reports and updates on open projects, which are made available through an online platform, the initiative also delivers a series of free open days that provide impartial information on a range of policy and agronomy issues, including varieties, fungicides and weed management. The NAC promotion of best practice helps growers to make informed choices on key arable decisions.

The NAC initiative has been running since 2006 supported by The Morley Agricultural Foundation (TMAF) and National Agronomy Centre Supporters (parties from across the farming community who make a small annual contribution to support the Initiative). This NIAB TAG led initiative is guided by an advisory group made up of farmers, agronomists and researchers from across the Industry. The initiative has worked successfully with a range of other collaborators to extend the value and scope of the project. 

The main NAC sites are located in Norfolk, Hampshire and Lincolnshire and the research programme features the following themes:

  • Long term monitoring; these studies provide a valuable (and hard to replace) resource that is difficult to maintain through short term or commercial funding. The NAC programme includes monitoring wheat of fungicide responses (since 1986), sugar beet periodic lift data (since 1997) and straw incorporation research (running for over 25 years).
  • Applied agronomy; the initiative funds a range of field experiments mainly in cereals, oilseed rape and sugar beet. The research addresses the key challenge in arable crop production today; finding sustainable and efficient routes to increase food output while also managing the impact of our Industry. 
  • Systems demonstration; the NAC programme also features large plot and field strip studies. These are important for demonstration and as a link to develop key treatments from ‘small plot’ trials through to field practice. 
  • Applications research; this is of fundamental importance to farmers and can be critical to efficacy and crucial to environmental impact.