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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.

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.

Top up your CPD points before 31 May deadline

BASIS Professional Register members are being reminded that there are just four 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, those holding the Certificate in Crop Protection for agriculture, vegetables or horticulture must collect 40 points per year, and those holding an additional FACTS qualification require 50 points,” says Michele. She adds “those members who just hold the FACTS qualification are required to collect 20 points per year”.

“We’ve currently got 5,591 members, with over 200,000 CPD points to be collected during the year, and encouragingly, well over half 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.”

Points requirements

Members can access their training record on the BASIS website, or via the BASIS app at www.basis-app.co.uk, to find out how many more points they need to collect.

For more information please visit www.basis-reg.co.uk or contact a member of the BASIS team on 01335 343945.

BASIS launches new Lawn Assured Standard

Independent standard setting and auditing organisation, BASIS, has launched a new standard aimed at the professional domestic lawn care sector. The Lawn Assured Standard will help to ensure a consistent and high standard of practice in the professional lawn care sector. 

Lindsay Smith Boam, BASIS logistics manager, explains that all individuals applying pesticides are expected to work sustainably, effectively and efficiently, in order to protect themselves, the general public and the environment.  

“The new voluntary standard has been launched in response to industry demand, and aims to help domestic lawn care contractors demonstrate that they’re operating in a responsible manner to both the public and the regulatory authorities,” she says. 

“The benchmarking standard will also help remove any variability across the sector, ensuring a consistent level of performance, as well as improving business credentials,” adds Lindsay.

“BASIS is encouraging, professionals to use the accreditation to prove and promote the quality and value of service to new and current customers.”

To become certified as a Lawn Assured, an organisation or company is expected to complete a self-audit, which covers key areas related to training and certification as well as health and safety regulations, and documentation, such as risk assessments. 

Following completion, an on-site audit is required to verify the documentation and check compliance, and that the operator is working in a professional manner, in line with best practice. 

Lindsay explains that although BASIS is not an enforcement body, the organisation aims to help companies to meet legal, regulatory and best practice standards. “Our assessment team is highly experienced and can advise and assist as part of the independent site-visit.”

To register for the new standard, or find out more please contact the BASIS office on 01335 343945 or visit the website at www.basis-reg.co.uk .


Harper Adams to receive top Royal Honour

Harper Adams is to receive the most prestigious honour open to UK universities – the Queen’s Anniversary Prize – for its work leading innovation in agricultural engineering. 

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are part of the honours system and are awarded every two years by The Queen on the Prime Minister’s advice. They are granted to the whole institution, irrespective of the area of work being recognised, rather than to an individual or department.

Twenty-one UK universities and colleges of further education were announced as prize recipients in the current – twelfth biennial – round of the scheme, during an event hosted at St James’s Palace by The Royal Anniversary Trust, attended by Harper Adams University Vice-Chancellor Dr David Llewellyn and Chairman Mike Lewis.

The Prizes will be formally presented at Buckingham Palace in February 2018, by a member of the Royal Family.

This will be the second Queen’s Anniversary Prize received by Harper Adams, which was honoured in 2005 for its work developing women-owned businesses to support the rural economy. The latest award recognises the university’s pioneering work in developing agricultural technologies, and associated alternative farming methods, to deliver global food security.

The range of work for which the University is being honoured includes research into and development of controlled traffic farming (CTF) systems; support for the implementation of unmanned aerial systems and a world-first trial that proved crops could be grown autonomously, from seed to harvest.

Dr Llewellyn said: “It is a huge honour to be recognised with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. It is a tremendous achievement by our staff and students and reflects the leading role we have taken in the development of agri-technologies in recent years.”

Harper Adams University has demonstrated to numerous farming groups that CTF can be applied in the UK with potential benefits to crop production, soil health and water management.

Work with Michelin on low pressure tyre systems, as part of a CTF system, has led them to invest further in products that support this farming approach and the university’s UK and international work on CTF techniques has enabled it research farming improvements in Sub-Saharan Africa, where there is an urgent need to address food security issues. This work has also been replicated in trials in the USA, at the University of Illinois.

The university has supported the implementation of agricultural Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), including the development of a code of conduct for agricultural drone use which has been adopted by BASIS, the independent standards setting and auditing organisation for the pesticide, fertiliser and allied agricultural industries, as the framework for its professional courses in this area.

The university has also undertaken novel work with the RAF to determine how low flying aircraft and agricultural drones can operate safely in the same airspace, for which the RAF lead, Squadron Leader Gary James, was recently recognised with a prestigious flight safety award.

And key in 2017 was the creation of proof of concept for autonomous farming systems – with the Hands Free Hectare project successfully completing a world-first trial to grow a crop of barley on a hectare of land using agricultural robots and drones, and generating world-wide interest and debate in how autonomous systems could assist food production. The Queen’s Anniversary Prize assessment process is overseen by the Awards Council of the Royal Anniversary Trust.

Sir Damin Buffini, Chairman of the Trust said: “ The focus of the Prizes on innovation and practical benefit to people and society is a great incentive to our universities and colleges to think critically about the direction of their work and its application and relevance in today's world. The national recognition and prestige conferred by the Prizes also enables individual institutions to win support and leverage funding for their future plans .”

Read the full article via shropshirelive.com 


BASIS team on hand at BP2017 for first time

For the first time in the events history, BASIS will be exhibiting at BP2017, with members of the team on hand to discuss the extensive range of training courses on offer, and support professional register members in collecting up to 12 points over the two days.

Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, explains that the organisation is looking forward to meeting representatives from all areas of the supply chain at the event. 

“We’re delighted to be exhibiting for the first time,” says Stephen. “The potato sector is particularly volatile due to external factors such as market prices, the weather, and increasing demand to farm sustainably. All of these influence best practice techniques, and require those working in the industry to have an extensive knowledge and skill set,” he adds. 

“For this reason, we’re looking forward to meeting those working in the sector, with the view of helping them learn about the importance of continued professional development (CPD), the range of courses we have on offer, and how they can use the information gathered in their everyday roles.”

He outlines the range of BASIS courses that are on offer.  

“As well as the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection (Agriculture), we have a selection of other courses that will be showcased on the day. For example, there is a BASIS Certificate in Stored Potatoes, which is targeted primarily at those selling, and or giving advice, on the use of pesticides that are used in store potatoes,” says Stephen. 

“We also offer a Certificate in Soil and Water Management which aims to assist farmers and advisers in managing these resources in a sustainable manner, while striving for the best yields.”

How to collect BASIS points at BP2017

Visitors to BP2017 will have the chance to gain up to 12 BASIS CPD points over the two days of the event.

“To collect their points, members should visit the BASIS stand to pick up a card, which will be stamped at the relevant exhibitor stand for completing a knowledge trail activity,” explains Stephen. 

“After collecting up to four stamps, the card should be handed back in at the BASIS stand, and points will be awarded accordingly,” he adds. 


New online portal for point-of-sale rodenticide audits

BASIS and CRRU UK are now inviting suppliers of professional use rodenticides to register their depots for the new UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime Point-of-Sale audit process.

The BASIS Stores Inspection Scheme, which already uses independent assessors to ensure compliance with regulations for the storage and distribution of professional pesticides, is set to be extended by the two organisations.

Lindsay Smith-Boam, Logistics Manager at BASIS, says the creation of an audit process specifically for rodenticides will be significant in ensuring the success of the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime.

“Applying controls at the point of sale, such as checking distribution staff are aware of the regulations and best practice requirements, is an important part of stewardship,” she said.

“For distributors already operating within the long-established Stores Inspection Scheme, the fact it will now cover rodenticides too should be seen as good news.
“It will provide further evidence that the entire supply chain is controlling availability of these products, as a result enabling continued access to them without further restriction.

“Those who have not been involved with BASIS before can rest assured that our experience will help their business meet stewardship requirements.”

So, storekeepers from all supply routes (trade and retail, in-store and online) are being reminded that they must complete an online registration by 31 December 2017, in order to continue to sell professional use rodenticides.

To register your store, please visit http://basis-audit.co.uk/ .

Rupert Broome, CRRU UK Point of Sale Work Group leader, says: “Any company or outlet selling professional use rodenticides must have passed a BASIS Point of Sale audit for rodenticide stewardship compliance by November 30, 2018.

“This is a planned progression from proof of competence checks on rodenticide purchasers, which were rolled out in October 2016.”

CRRU UK and BASIS will advise the supply chain of the precise audit process, and the requirements that have to be met, during July to December this year.

Failure to comply with any aspect of the stewardship regime may lead to the company concerned being reported to HSE, Trading Standards and any other relevant body. 
It may also lead to cancellation of the authorisation for sale of the product concerned.


Collect up to 12 BASIS CPD points at Croptec

Visitors to Croptec will have the chance to gain up to 12 BASIS CPD points, while gaining valuable insights into the latest updates on everything from crop breeding and protection, to nutrition and establishment.  

“The agricultural industry demands an extensive knowledge and skill set, and as new technology and best practice protocols evolve, it’s really important to keep up to date on the latest advances,” says Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO.

“For this reason, I’d really recommend heading to one of the CropTec seminars which will cover a broad range of topics,” he adds. 

Stephen explains that for participating in up to four seminars, BASIS members will be rewarded with one point per session, as well as two extra points for attending each day of the event.

“In addition to the seminars, we’re delighted that 19 exhibitors will be taking part in the knowledge trail, where BASIS members will be tasked with completing an activity at each stand, to further their knowledge and gain up to four points.”

The BASIS team will be on hand to assist with points collection, and can also provide advice and guidance to prospective members, with a wide range of information on the training courses that are open to all.

“As well as the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection (Agriculture), a range of courses are available and will be showcased on the day, including the Certificate in Soil and Water Management,” he says. 

“This course will assist both farmers and advisers in managing these resources in a sustainable manner, to protect the environment while striving for the best yields.”

How to collect BASIS points at Croptec

To collect their points, members should visit the BASIS stand, number 2, hall 2, to pick up a card, which will be stamped after participating in a seminar, or at the relevant exhibitor stand for completing a knowledge trail activity. After collecting up to four stamps, the card should be handed back in at the BASIS stand, and points will be awarded accordingly.


Cohort complete Graduate Diploma in Agronomy with Environmental Management

This September, 11 students comprised of the second cohort to graduate from the Graduate Diploma in Agronomy with Environmental Management, run by Harper Adams University in association with BASIS. 

Harper Adams has accredited BASIS courses since 2008 and the Graduate Diploma was launched in 2011 as an academic award, at a level equivalent to the final year of an honours degree, which builds upon the more vocational BASIS Diploma.

Dr Andy Brooks, senior lecturer and short courses co-ordinator at the university, said that Harper Adams has been collaborating with BASIS in one form or another since 1978. “This is when we began providing training courses for people wishing to take BASIS exams. We’ve accredited BASIS courses since 2008 and we developed this Level 6 qualification to help agronomists further advance their careers. 

‘’On behalf of Harper Adams University, I would like to congratulate the candidates on gaining this formal academic qualification which recognises the significant levels of professional experience they have gained and that will help further develop their careers within the crop protection industry.’’

Lucy Cottingham, BASIS marketing and technical manager, was among the graduating cohort. “The qualification provided candidates with a broad knowledge from the core modules, while allowing them to select from a suite of advanced modules to suit their desired expertise,” she said.

“I’ve really enjoyed working towards the qualification. Once I completed the Certificate in Crop Protection and FACTS, I had a desire to further increase my knowledge base and working towards the Graduate Diploma was the logical next step.’’

The Diploma graduates are: 

Lucy Cottingham (BASIS)
Debbie Wedge (Approved Trainer) 
Todd Jex (Agrii)
Ben Chapman (Harlow Agricultural Merchants) 
Peter Waldock (Growing Earth)
Shirley Loughrin (Tynedale Agronomy)
Anthony Slade (Syngenta)
Paul Carrott (Beeswax Dyson Farming)
Ben Abell (Beeswax Dyson Farming)
James Tempest (Gloag & Sons)
Syed Shah (Agrii)


BASIS Trainer & Examiner Seminars 2017

In October 2017 we are going to hold a number of trainer and examiner seminars around the country to highlight the new courses and developments which have recently been introduced.

BASIS CPD Points will be available for attending this event. We hope to see you there.

Please find a list of the scheduled dates below: 

3 October 2017 - The Royal Agricultural University, Manor Farm, Harnhill, Cirencester, GL7 5PU
4 October 2017 - Hilton Avisford Park, Yapton Lane, Walberton, Arundel, BN18 0LS
5 October 2017 - Orton Hall Hotel, The Village, Orton, Longueville, Peterborough, PE2 7DN
10 October 2017 - DEFRA, 12G39, Sand Hutton, York, North Yorkshire, YO41 1LZ
11 October 2017 - The Howard Hotel, 34 Great King Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6QH

For more information or to confirm your attendance please contact Sue Mason on 01335 340856 or email her on sue@basis-reg.co.uk 

KEEP UP TO DATE

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