NIAB Agronomy

Dr Patrick McKenna

Patrick is an agronomist and soil scientist. He manages five long-term field trials around Cambridge on the re-integration of species-rich leys and sheep grazing into arable farming systems. Particular research interests in this project include the effects of species diversity on forage production and nitrogen fixation, the accumulation of aggregate-bound soil organic carbon in ley systems, and the effects of ley cultivation on subsequent wheat performance.

Emma Smith

With a BA (Hons) in business management and a keen interest in horticulture, Emma is part of the glasshouse and ornamental specialist team delivering trials and R&D services for mainly commercial customers of arable, fruit and ornamental and protected crops in the glasshouses.

Emma provides the team with business development, contract management, customer liaison, coordination and technical services for activities including variety trials and variety characterisation, product evaluation trials, nutrition and growing system studies.

Benjamin Tea

Ben's role within NIAB covers two main areas, that of a technical grower and in business development.

As a FACTS Qualified Advisor (Hort) Ben provides technical growing advice from his base at NIAB’s Park Farm glasshouse facility. He also produces bespoke fertigation systems and oversees the set up of protected/controlled environment facilities for all crops such as ornamentals, fruit, vegetables, cereals and legumes.

Ben's role within business development is to share his previous commercial experience and help develop ideas into actionable trials for NIAB’s customers.

Kate Waite

Kate is responsible for coordinating agronomic (fungicide, insecticide, nutrition and PGR) trials focusing on cereals, oilseed rape and pulses. She is also responsible for the contract management of variety oilseed rape trials.

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