NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

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Contract Trials

NIAB specialist trials capability is well known in the UK agricultural sector. Providing high quality trials combined with fast and accurate reporting is a hallmark of our service.

Expertise: our team of over thirty five field based staff have an in-depth understanding of the requirements for arable, major food and forage field trials.

Resources: NIAB has one of the largest independent field trials operations in the UK conducting field trials from eleven regional management centres.

NIAB trials sites

Over thirty national trials sites: ensuring that we conduct trials in an environment designed to give the greatest possible differences between treatments covering a wide range of soil types and climatic conditions and as part of commercial crop rotations. Site locations range from Berwick upon Tweed down to Taunton.

VehicleORETO Registered: trials can be designed for use as part of Northern European registration dossiers.

Specialist kit: NIAB has direct access to all the typical equipment to successfully conduct field trials. To name a few:

  • Plot drills and harvesters;
  • hand held spray applicators,
  • soil samplers;
  • NIR analyser for determining wheat protein, barley nitrogen or oilseed rape oil content.

Full back-up support: A large specialist field development team combined with an extensive and well maintained equipment list means there are adequate resources to ensure smooth management of individual protocols.

Trial Types

Trial types

NIAB can accommodate all types of arable and forage crop field and applications trials work from more simple demonstration trials to fully replicated and randomized registration trials.

Wide ranging expertise: The NIAB trials team has in-depth experience of conducting trials in all areas of agronomy including soil management, plant nutrition, chemical evaluation, seed dressings, varieties, environmental impact and biodiversity. Product evaluation/efficacy trials are the most common and our staff have a great deal of experience in assessing diseases of various crops and also of weed identification and control assessments.


NIAB researchers have the expertise to provide field trials reports from a simple tabular format to full scientific reports supported by statistical analysis and commentary. For many trials we use the Gylling data management programme- ARM and have the flexibility to use customers own version if required.

Independent: NIAB is completely independent and has no commercial loyalties or allegiances. We impartially report our findings and treat all work with the same level of dedication.

Timely: Ensuring trials reports are completed to an agreed timetable is an essential part of any contractual agreement.

Confidentiality: We make results available to our farmer members or we maintain full or partial confidentiality - the choice is yours.

Range of budgets: Our experienced agronomists can help modify protocols to accommodate budgetary restrictions including advice on treatments, replicates, reporting and confidentiality clauses.

Trials Visits and Results Conferences


Trials  visits          Group photo

Displaying, discussing and promoting trials results can generally be accommodated by NIAB TAG’s team of agronomists and researchers.

Private trials visits: by special agreement, NIAB can host private field and laboratory visits interpreting observations to all types of audiences.

Results conferences: NIAB can attend internal technical conferences. By special arrangement we can directly present our findings, interpret the results and generate in-depth discussion.

Contact NIAB TAG Contracts

Nick Watson
Tel: 01223 342267
Mobile: 07860 503555