NEWS: Mark Fletcher joins NIAB as Head of Agronomy Services

11 Jul 2024
NIAB has appointed Dr Mark Fletcher in the new position of Head of Agronomy Services.

Mark joins NIAB in early July and will lead the crop science organisation’s team of 20 agronomists and consultants who deliver technical and consultancy services across the country. He will oversee the translation of NIAB’s wide-ranging research programme, including member-funded agronomy trials, into on-farm advice to support productive, resilient, regenerative farming for members, customers and stakeholders. Mark will also be the primary contact in NIAB’s external interactions relating to strategic agronomic issues, alongside dealing with technical enquiries and production of the portfolio of agronomy publications available to subscribing members.

NIAB Director of Commercial Services Nick Watson says: “It’s great news that someone of Mark’s calibre and ability is joining NIAB; our farmer members will benefit enormously from his experience, skills and knowledge. He will be a great asset, not only to our regional agronomy team, but to the whole organisation, in the development and communication of our agronomic direction and services offered to all our members and customers.”

Mark joins NIAB from Agrovista where he led its northern agronomy team for the past seven years, advising on an extensive client base on combinable crops, potatoes, vegetables and fruit. Originally from a mixed family farm in Northern Ireland Mark attended Queens University of Belfast and the University of Reading. He has held management positions within British Polythene Industries, Syngenta, Westland Horticulture and Agrii. Mark’s research interests include plant physiology, nutrition and disease management, specifically being able to produce food crops more efficiently.

He is looking forward to the opportunities that come with his new position. “NIAB is unique in the UK in its capability to connect plant science with good agronomy to ensure that the benefits of research are realised on farm. The changes that will occur in agriculture in crops and cropping will require an in-depth knowledge and understanding that NIAB’s team is well placed to answer, for its members and the wider industry. I'm extremely excited to be joining at this pivotal time and look forward to being a part of the future development,” says Mark Fletcher.