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Latest News

Find out what's new in BASIS and our various schemes, and keep up to date with current industry developments. Or, select a date in the news archive to search through previous articles.

BASIS celebrates its 40th anniversary

Standard setting, training and auditing organisation, BASIS Registration, is celebrating its 40th year of service to agricultural and related industries throughout 2018.

This key milestone is a testament to the developing industry, proving that training and continued development is not only essential for production, but it’s here to stay, as the need for increased knowledge across the board grows.

Four decades of service

To showcase the past four decades of both the organisation and the industry, Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, looks back to 1978 when BASIS was founded to regulate agrochemical suppliers and advisers.

“One key player in the organisation’s development was former chief executive, Barrie Orme, who instigated the examination and training side, for which it is now so well known,” says Stephen.

“Once this was well established, Barrie saw the further need for ongoing professional development for agronomists to keep abreast of developments in crop protection, so set about launching the highly regarded BASIS Professional Register to meet this need in the early 1990’s.”

Developing roles

Stephen goes on to explain that the role of an adviser has also changed over time, so BASIS continually updates its courses and syllabuses and ensures that CPD points can be obtained on an array of topic areas.

“While Integrated Pest Management recommendations are still key, advisers now have a much wider remit, offering assistance with all aspects of agronomy from variety choices to soil quality improvement or wildlife enhancement on farms.”

Hazel Doonan, AIC sector head of crop protection, backs this point, highlighting the need for a good understanding of soil management for improved productivity and sustainability.

She adds that training and recognised qualifications are also important for the wider image of agriculture.

“The fact that agronomists are qualified and undertake CPD demonstrates and reassures the public that plant protection products, when required, are only recommended by professionals who have assessed the need very carefully.

Looking forwards

“Going forward, training and CPD will continue to be a high priority to help agronomists stay up-to-date with new developments in all aspects of their work. So, it’s important that course content and delivery is regularly reviewed, and all parties can access relevant training,” says Hazel.

Because of these ongoing new developments, BASIS plans to stay ahead of the curve with its ‘2020 digital transformation project’. This will bring improved efficiency and service to stakeholders while enhancing member benefits, to continue to support the industry in years to come.

For more information please visit www.basis-reg.co.uk or contact the office on 01335 343945 or help@basis-reg.co.uk.


Label changes in the conditions relating to the use of both Phostoxin® and Talunex® for the nonagricultural control of brown rats resulted in the UK marketing companies putting a temporary suspension 

on the use of both products for rodent control until a clear and workable process could be agreed by all UK stakeholders.

Additional label requirements for the non-agricultural control of brown rats, moles and rabbits regarding risk areas and gas level monitoring have also been introduced which required clear guidance for operators and trainers.

The updated 2018 version of the RAMPS UK Code of Good Practice has been produced reflecting these changes and give clear additional guidance on all aspects of agricultural and non-agricultural control of brown rats, moles and rabbits. 

For more Information, please click here

Novel research project wins BASIS Paul Singleton award

A forward-thinking research project, that has scope to play a part in the fight against blackgrass, has seen Jamie Stotzka win the highly-regarded BASIS ‘Paul Singleton Project of the Year Award’.

The consultant bioagronomist was presented with her award at Cereals and explains that her study focused on the effect of microbial inoculants on the growth and development of blackgrass.

“From working in the industry, it’s clear that blackgrass is a major issue, costing farms up to £134/ha[1]to control, before accounting for any further crop losses,” says Jamie.

“So, I used the project element of my BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection to find out whether the microbial inoculants that I work with in my role at PlantWorks Ltd. could play a key part in an integrated approach to tackle the aggressive weed.”

Jamie explains that her research was formed of two sections. “The first was designed to monitor whether arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can help cover crops to outcompete and suppress blackgrass growth.

“My second experiment approached the problem from a different angle, this time using plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR),” she adds.

“I wanted to find out whether PGPR could stimulate the early germination and growth of blackgrass to minimise the threat to winter sown crops. In theory this could mean that the entire population of blackgrass seeds germinate in the autumn, before spraying off to provide a clean seedbed to drill the next crop.”

The results of both trials were positive, with the first test that used AMF clearly showing an increase in biomass of the cover crop, with potential to outcompete weeds. The PGPR encouraged an early flush of blackgrass in the autumn, suggesting reduced pressure during the following growing season.

She highlights that NIAB has shown a great interest in her work. “I presented my findings to the team, and they’re going to build on my research with PGPR, as my trials provided a good grounding for a potential solution to the blackgrass problem.”

Jamie adds that she is delighted with the award, that was judged against 10 other leading BASIS projects, out of 250 submitted. “It’s tremendous that such a novel subject has been recognised for this key industry award, I feel extremely honoured and hope my findings can help farmers in the future.”

Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, explains that Jamie is a worthy winner and highlights how her project stepped away from the norm with a clear aim to enhance the industry.

“As always the standard of projects was exceptional, but Jamie’s high level of detail and strong Integrated Crop Management focus stood out to the judging panel.”

The Pesticides Forum annual report for 2017 has been published

The 2017 Pesticides Forum Annual Report, ‘Pesticides in the UK – The 2017 report on the impacts and sustainable use of pesticides’, has been published on the Pesticides Forum’s web community site. 

The announcement page contains an introduction and link to the annual report, please click here to see the page.

The annual report (a 3.5MB pdf file) may also be accessed directly by clicking here

Record CPD haul points to ongoing success of PROMPT register

A steady stream of pest control professionals arriving at our stall at the recent PPC Live event helped us to log more CPD points than ever before.

Our staff were kept busy with their scanners throughout the day, logging the points for a total of PROMPT register members, who each picked up two points simply for attending.

They were then able to add to their tallies by visiting the various seminars through the day, each of which enabled attendees to collect more points – up to a maximum of six - as well as gain valuable insights and knowledge to help them in their work.

In total, 268 people visited our stand to log their points, compared to 195 at the last show, in 2016, while we had a healthy number of applications too.

Among the seminars generating the highest numbers of CPD points was the Action vs Impacts seminar and a talk on marketing by Ben Massey, marketing and communications manager for the BPCA.

Ninety-seven people, meanwhile, picked up a CPD point by attending an outdoor demonstration of air rifles.

Stephen Jacob, Chief Executive of BASIS PROMPT, said: “Not only was PPC Live a wonderful opportunity for everyone in the industry to get together to learn and discuss the latest news and updates, it was an easy way for members to gather CPD points.

“Our data showed that more people took the opportunity to do so than ever before, which is a reflection of the numbers of people who attended the event and are now members of our register.

“It’s a wonderful endorsement not only of the growing reputation of the PROMPT register but also the growing understanding of how regular training and education are vital for operators working in the industry.”

Amenity Forum Sprayer Operator of the Year 2018 Awards

Are you, or do you know an outstanding sprayer operator?

The 2018 Amenity Forum Sprayer Operator of the Year Award is now open for entries! Seeking to recognise and reward the high levels of professionalism and standards in the sector, a choice of three fantastic prizes are on offer, including a trip to a world-leading US turf or amenity show, or £2,000 worth of products.

Ready to apply?

Entries and nominations need to be made by 30 June 2018. After submitting an application form, successful entrants will be invited to answer a short questionnaire. Selected category finalists are judged on best practice and innovative ideas to improve and enhance spraying operations.

Category finalists are invited to the Amenity Forum Conference in October, where the three category winners will be announced. Each category winner will receive a framed certificate and a trophy from the sponsors, together with the offer of free training awarded by BASIS Registration. 

The overall winner of National Amenity Sprayer Operator of the Year will be announced at the BIGGA BTME event next January.

Download the application form

Why not nominate someone from your organisation? 
Businesses and customers can also nominate individuals, by completing the
 nomination form on our website

If there’s anything else that you need, or if you’d like to get in touch with any questions, please call on 01926 650391 or send an email to admin@amenityforum.net

Young agronomist wins BASIS Barrie Orme Shield

Ed Meek, a 23-year-old Agrovista agronomist, has been awarded with the esteemed Barrie Orme Shield for outstanding performance in the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection.

Ed explains that although he is not from an agricultural background, his passion for farming started at an early age, and after spending time with an independent advisor he knew he wanted to become an agronomist.

“During sixth form, I dedicated my spare time to working on a mixed farm as I wanted to gain practical skills required to study a foundation degree in agriculture at Harper Adams.

“I graduated with a distinction in 2016 before taking up my current role at Agrovista. I enrolled on the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection as I felt it was an essential step in my career progression.

“The course provided me with the fundamental knowledge required for my role, including everything from identification and control of weeds, pests and diseases, to the application, handling and storage of plant protection products,” he says.

Ed was selected from 18 runners up, including Georgina Beevers, Jonathan James and Edward Sandeman, who were shortlisted from over 250 candidates that achieved the certificate in 2017.

Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, adds that Ed excelled in all areas of the qualification, that is assessed in four elements: a written exam, practical identification, a research project and vivas.

“The standard of applicants was extremely high, but Ed’s drive and ambition shone through and helped him to succeed,” he says.

Throughout the course Ed was tutored by BASIS accredited trainer, James Christian-Ilett, who oversaw his research project that was based on how yellow rust races were evolving to overcome varietal resistance.

“When I first set out researching my project, yellow rust was starting to become a real issue, so I wanted to delve deeper into the disease to see how resistance would evolve,” says Ed.

“It was clear that the disease was, and still is, rapidly changing to overcome varietal resistance genes. This highlights the importance of plant breeding for varieties that are more resilient to disease.”

He goes on to explain that achieving the BASIS qualification is a fantastic accomplishment. “It has provided me with the confidence I need to provide my clients with quality technical advice. The BASIS continuing professional development scheme will ensure that my knowledge is updated in line with changing standards and regulations.”

The next step in Ed’s career plan is to train for and achieve a FACTS qualification in crop nutrition, to enable him to provide farmers with guidance on appropriate fertiliser applications.



Three months left to collect BASIS Professional Register points

BASIS Professional Register members are being reminded that there are just three months left until the end of the points year.

BASIS Professional Registers and accounts manager, Michele Williams, explains that members must collect a specified number of BASIS CPD points by 31 May 2018, to maintain their Professional Register status.

“There are numerous ways in which BASIS members can top-up their points before the 31 May deadline, including visiting exhibitions, conferences, trial sites and technical seminars,” she says.

A maximum of eight points per year can also be collected from reading a wide range of technical industry publications and newsletters.

The number of points an individual member must accrue depends on their qualification and category of membership. For example:

  • Certificate in Crop Protection (agriculture, vegetables or horticulture) – 40 points
  • Certificate in Crop Protection (agriculture, vegetables or horticulture) with FACTS Certificate – 50 points
  • FACTS Certificate only – 20 points
  • Certificate in Crop Protection (amenity horticulture) – 20 points
  • Certificate in Crop Protection (amenity horticulture) with FACTS Certificate – 30 points

“We’ve currently got 5,591 members, with over 200,000 CPD points to be collected during the year, and encouragingly, over three quarters of these have already been allocated. But there are still plenty of opportunities to meet your quota before the end of May.”

Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO reiterates the importance of Continued Professional Development (CPD), explaining that it is essential for agronomists, advisers and farmers to stay ahead of the curve in the rapidly developing agricultural and horticultural industries.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen agronomy step up a gear, and with the uncertainty around Brexit, and tightening regulations, this is expected to continue,” he says.

“New technology, restrictions and stewardship guidelines are being introduced all the time, so it’s essential that those providing advice remain up-to-date, and collecting BASIS CPD points will help to do so. This will allow consultants to deliver the latest information and assist farmers in making informed decisions.”


Brian Chambers Soils Fund

The Brian Chambers Soils Fund was established to provide grants to help fund the learning and development costs of students and early career scientists. 

Encouraging the skills and knowledge needed to manage soils effectively to meet the demands of modern farming systems is essential for the future sustainability of agriculture.

Practical experience and the ability to communicate effectively are key requisites for those wishing to follow in the footsteps of someone like Brian.  A number of agriculture and environmental industry organisations have kindly offered to provide opportunities for work experience, mentoring or training.

If you would like to find out how this might help your career development, please visit www.soils.org.uk/bcsf or to find our more details of how you can apply for a grant click here. 

Leicestershire farmer crowned BASIS Best Farmer of the Year

Third generation arable farmer, Eric Wright, of Wrights Agriculture has been presented with the BASIS Best Farmer of the Year award following the completion of his Certificate in Crop Protection last June.

Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, explains that Eric has been awarded the prestigious title of BASIS Best Farmer of the Year. He was the highest performing farmer candidate from the selection of Barrie Orme Shield nominees, and his passion for farming, innovative thinking and attention to detail shone through in every aspect of the course.

Eric enrolled in the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection course at the University of Lincoln to broaden his agricultural knowledge and develop his agronomical understanding, for the benefit of his business.

“In this day and age, I think it’s increasingly important that arable farmers are more aware of their practices, and they shouldn’t be solely reliant on their agronomist. The training has allowed me to work alongside my agronomist to make informed decisions as a team,” says Eric.

He adds that he particularly enjoyed undertaking the project component of the course.

“My project focused on the outcome of introducing Avadex (Tri-allate) to a blackgrass control strategy in winter oilseed rape, which was particularly pertinent due to winter OSR recently being removed from the product label.

“As a result, I evaluated the available products in the armoury for blackgrass control, and was able to prove that Avadex is a vitally important herbicide to tackle such a persistent weed in oilseed rape crops, and its loss to growers is significant,” he says.

Julian Little, head of communications and government affairs at Bayer Crop Science explains that the company sponsored Eric’s prize – an all-expenses paid trip to the Oxford Farming Conference.

“Eric’s thirst for knowledge and drive for change helped him to win the award, and teamed with the inspirational conference experience, he plans to build on his learning and take his BASIS project one step further,” says Julian.

He is also hoping to present his findings to Gowan, the Avadex manufacturer, to demonstrate the need to include winter OSR on the label again. This would be of great interest to the industry, due to the blackgrass challenge that farmers face.

For more information on BASIS please visit www.basis-reg.co.uk or contact 01335 343945.

BASIS Registration Ltd

St Monica's House, 39 Windmill Lane,
Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1EY
T: 01335 343945
F: 01335 301205
E: help@basis-reg.co.uk

BASIS is a registered charity (No. 1077006) and a
company limited by guarantee registered in England (No. 1365343)