On-Farm Research 101

  • Date: 28th April 2022
  • Time: 10am - 4:30pm
  • Price: Free for members or £75 for non-members
  • Location: Sophi Taylor Conference Centre, NIAB, Cambridge, CB24 9NZ
  • Type: Conference


How do you conduct and manage robust research and development at scale on your farm? What are the best methods for data collection and analysis? What are the best approaches to collaborative projects with researchers?

Join us on April 28th as we explore the scientific approaches to on-farm trials and how to work more effectively with researchers.

In recent years successful farmer-led research programmes has empowered farmers to become their own scientists. With this success, farmer-led research has become a growing discipline within industry and academic networks. With Defra funding now focusing more on farmer-led R&D, there has been no better time to set out on this venture and start conducting robust R&D at scale on your farm.

Although field trials and experiments are not new, the scientific approach underlying design and implementation has evolved, together with the technologies available to aid the collection and interpretation of data.




Join us in-person at NIAB for a unique daylong event as we explore approaches to the design and implementation of field trails, and the technologies currently available to support data collection and analysis to allow you to get the most out of your field trials.

9.30      Arrival and Networking

10:00     Welcome and introduction        

10:10      Session 1: Scene set/ keynote: Being your own researcher and scientist- where do you start?

Speaker: Tom Allen-Stevens- The BOFIN Network 

10:30     Session 2: Setting up an on-farm trial: balancing robustness & practicality

Speakers: Daniel Kindred, ADAS and James Mayes, Sentry Farms

11:30     BREAK  

11:50     Session 3: Gathering useful and meaningful evidence  

Collecting data from on-farm trials is no small feat. Do you go the manual or automated route or both? And how do you gauge how much of it to collect so that it’s manageable,and over what period of time? This session is all about equipping you with the mindset and tools to get going with on-farm data collection in the most effective way.

Speakers: Robert Allen- Crop4Sight , Simon Bowen, Head of Knowledge Exchange, BBRO and Anisa Aubin- Technical Solutions Manager,  Agrimetrics

13:00   LUNCH

14:00   Session 4: So what? Interpreting results

Once data has been collected, now comes the time to crunch those numbers and draw some conclusions. This session will empower you to have confidence and make the most of your trial results by bringing together facts gathered, considered context, and knowledge gained.

Speakers: Stuart Hill, Head of Technology and Innovation, Hutchinson, Lydia Smith, Head of Innovation Farm, NIAB and Rebecca Swinn- Field Lab Manager, Innovative Farmers

 15:10    BREAK  

 15:20    Session 5: Collaborating and co-designing with researchers

On-farm research can greatly benefit from working hand-in-hand with researchers, and we are increasingly hearing from the successes of co-designed projects. Join us in this session as we discuss the practicalities of setting up a collaborative project, how to manage expectations and what to ask of each other to ensure successful outcomes.

Speakers: Andrew Francis, Farms Director,  Elveden Estates, Will Smith, Trials Manager, NIAB and Luke Williams, Senior portfolio manager, sustainable agriculture and food biotechnology, BBSRC

16:20     Q&A     

16:30     Closing Remarks   

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