NIAB TAG

I don't have a problem with blackgrass. My nearest trials site is about 200 miles away - and I get a lot more rain than that site.

I find you can often read between the lines in the press or ask on here or supplier to get the gen up on what the best varieties etc. are etc.

So would I still get a lot from NIAB membership? Is it worth its weight in gold or have you found ditched it after a bit?
 

Cropper

Member
Location
N. Glos
I am a NIAB(TAG) member. The subscription has gone up in the last few years(thank you NIAB) and I find it harder to justify membership every year. Most of the information is as you say out there somewhere if you're prepared to look for it. However, I do think it is very important that there is someone out there doing independent research, AHDB are I know but NIAB have a lot more trials. As I have access to all their trial data and recommendations I can't know how I would farm without it but I believe that the subscription is more than covered by input savings or extra output. Also I get plenty of nrso and basis cpd attending field days and winter conference.
I would say if youre thinking about it you should give it a try, basic membership without field days is less but you get all the information.
 

Gong Farmer

Member
BASIS
Location
Glos
I don't have a problem with blackgrass. My nearest trials site is about 200 miles away - and I get a lot more rain than that site.

I find you can often read between the lines in the press or ask on here or supplier to get the gen up on what the best varieties etc. are etc.

So would I still get a lot from NIAB membership? Is it worth its weight in gold or have you found ditched it after a bit?
We have members in Pembrokeshire, I may be able to put you in touch with them if you are interested.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
I don't have a problem with blackgrass. My nearest trials site is about 200 miles away - and I get a lot more rain than that site.

I find you can often read between the lines in the press or ask on here or supplier to get the gen up on what the best varieties etc. are etc.

So would I still get a lot from NIAB membership? Is it worth its weight in gold or have you found ditched it after a bit?

You need to do some unnecessary cultivation or even plough a few fields then blackgrass would be more relevant to you and you'd feel you could justify the membership.
 

rob1

Member
Location
wiltshire
I joined when I parted company with my agronomist and find it very useful, lots of updates arrive weekly def worth it to me.



Can I have my discount now please Richard ?:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

Gong Farmer

Member
BASIS
Location
Glos
I joined when I parted company with my agronomist and find it very useful, lots of updates arrive weekly def worth it to me.



Can I have my discount now please Richard ?:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

With pleasure, tuppence off (less VAT) your next subs

Updates only weekly during the active parts of the season (Feb-June and Sept-November) , 10-14 day intervals rest of the year. Loads of other docs as well, mind.
 
I think it's well worth it and I use it a lot. They even do a whole open day just for my favourite plant... black-grass!

Seriously though, I think if you want to farm in an evidence-based manner, you need access to the NIAB TAG data because it's definitely the most comprehensive and most up-to-date resource out there. To get the best out of it though does mean being pro-active. Go to the members' field days, go to the conferences and use the resources properly rather than just reading the agronomy update and nothing else.

I signed up originally for a free trial period which I thought was a very useful way of seeing what was really on offer. I would recommend doing this if possible.

I do occasionally wonder whether the money that goes into the organisation from agrochemical companies causes any conflicts of interest / drives any subconscious biases. On the black-grass open days you often have reps from the various firms in the crowd who obviously are pushing a partisan point of view. I wonder in those instances whether the NIAB TAG staff will self-censor what they say knowing that the people that pay their wages in part are listening in. I don't think this definitely does happen, but the potential is there for slight deviances from total independence. I bet, however, were it not for the manufacturers input and partial funding of some trials, that the membership fee could well be a lot higher.
 
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An Gof

Member
Location
Cornwall
I've been a member since ARC days and I find it invaluable.
Cornwall isn't invaded with Blackgrass (yet) so there is little benefit currently from that. However I value the trial information and independence.
I don't use an agronomist and am BASIS qualified. For me NIAB TAG helps keep me up to date and provides direct access to Technical help and advice when needed. It's good to be able to talk things through sometimes.
Use NIAB TAG and then buy "supply only" for your chemicals and the whole job makes a lot of sense.
If you use an agronomist use the info from NIAB Tag to help in your discussions with them. Sometimes it helps in the understanding and relationship with your agronomist to challenge their thinking as you work with them to deliver the most cost effective solution for your farm.
It gets more difficult to justify if you use a service agronomist and blindly follow their recommendations without question.
NIAB Tag is a valuable source of information that can empower you and if used correctly return your fee many times over. However as has been posted already you have to interact to get the best from it.
Find a local centre and ask to attend an open day and see for yourself, I'm told that at some events the hospitality is very good ;)
 
I've been a member since ARC days and I find it invaluable.
Cornwall isn't invaded with Blackgrass (yet) so there is little benefit currently from that. However I value the trial information and independence.
I don't use an agronomist and am BASIS qualified. For me NIAB TAG helps keep me up to date and provides direct access to Technical help and advice when needed. It's good to be able to talk things through sometimes.
Use NIAB TAG and then buy "supply only" for your chemicals and the whole job makes a lot of sense.
If you use an agronomist use the info from NIAB Tag to help in your discussions with them. Sometimes it helps in the understanding and relationship with your agronomist to challenge their thinking as you work with them to deliver the most cost effective solution for your farm.
It gets more difficult to justify if you use a service agronomist and blindly follow their recommendations without question.
NIAB Tag is a valuable source of information that can empower you and if used correctly return your fee many times over. However as has been posted already you have to interact to get the best from it.
Find a local centre and ask to attend an open day and see for yourself, I'm told that at some events the hospitality is very good ;)

Basically this. I find I have conversations on a much more even footing with our agronomists as a result of our membership. You can challenge what they're saying in a much more constructive way with the benefit of some evidence behind you.
 

fudge

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire.
I don't have a problem with blackgrass. My nearest trials site is about 200 miles away - and I get a lot more rain than that site.

I find you can often read between the lines in the press or ask on here or supplier to get the gen up on what the best varieties etc. are etc.

So would I still get a lot from NIAB membership? Is it worth its weight in gold or have you found ditched it after a bit?
IMHO an independent agronomist who is a TAG member offers better value for money than direct membership plus Basis qualification, for the smaller farmer. 200 miles is bl...y long way to travel to a "local" trial. Of course you could become an agronomist your self in which case TAG membership is well worth it.
 

Gong Farmer

Member
BASIS
Location
Glos
offer. I would recommend doing this if possible.

I do occasionally wonder whether the money that goes into the organisation from agrochemical companies causes any conflicts of interest / drives any subconscious biases. On the black-grass open days you often have reps from the various firms in the crowd who obviously are pushing a partisan point of view. I wonder in those instances whether the NIAB TAG staff will self-censor what they say knowing that the people that pay their wages in part are listening in. I don't think this definitely does happen, but the potential is there for slight deviances from total independence. I bet, however, were it not for the manufacturers input and partial funding of some trials, that the membership fee could well be a lot higher.
Manufacturers and breeders are members so they know what we are telling growers. They do not influence what we say to members, and many of them would tell you they wouldn't be interested in us if they could.
Also, obviously, we sometimes agree with them anyway.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I am a member and find it very useful. In particular I like the way it presents a a variety of options for treatment, allowing you to make your own judgement as to whether to go for the Rolls Royce or budget option. The email bulletins though the growing season are helpful.

I was quite surprised that it only counts as 2 points per year towards NROSO, while the sprayer update which a a morning of nattering before Christmas dinner at the pub counts for 10 points. Surely NIABTAG membership should be worth as much?

With regards to quality assurance schemes, my inspector would not accept NIAB TAG information as contributing to a managed approach to agronomy but would accept that it "did it myself". I would have thought that being a NIABTAG member should count something with regards to quality schemes and is surely better than just "doing it yourself".

It's tempting to cancel membership and just run on old info for a couple of years, especially as membership counts for nothing with quality schemes and contributes a negligible amount to NROSO, but so far I've played the game and kept on renewing, at I will say, considerable cost, but I think it has been cost effective.
 

Gong Farmer

Member
BASIS
Location
Glos
When ACCS (?) was set up many years ago we had it in writing that ARC (as we were then) could be accepted as a grower's adviser. I was asked recently for my BASIS number by a member who was allowed to nominate me as an adviser for a compliance/quality inspection, even though I don't walk his farm; hence I am surprised that your quality schemes don't allow the same.
 

T Hectares

Member
Location
Berkshire
I've just joined....

The last 5 Years I have used an Indy who is a TAG member so didn't feel the need, I've moved farms in the last year and am now doing half the area I was previously which has allowed me to now use the same Indy on a reduced service and for me to carry out the majority of the agronomy to better use my Basis and Facts.

I'm seeing TAG as a big part of taking a more prominent role, my buying group has a TAG discount in place too so the reduced service and TAG fees come to less than the previous agronomist, what's not to like !! ( I'm not 200 miles from my nearest centre though )

I'll see how it all goes over the next few years, I might "go it alone" in the future with TAG support who knows...
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
When ACCS (?) was set up many years ago we had it in writing that ARC (as we were then) could be accepted as a grower's adviser. I was asked recently for my BASIS number by a member who was allowed to nominate me as an adviser for a compliance/quality inspection, even though I don't walk his farm; hence I am surprised that your quality schemes don't allow the same.

Maybe I didn't explain it well enough to the inspector. He didn't seem to think the regional agronomist could be nominated as an adviser unless he walked the farm and wrote out tickets.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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