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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.

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 

CropTec 2017

The CropTec show is for all farmers and agronomists seeking the latest information on innovative methods to increase profits from crop production. 

As the UK’s leading technical and knowledge exchange event for the arable farming industry, this two-day show provides you with the ideal chance to explore ways to improve efficiency and reduce unit costs of production.

Come to Peterborough in November to discuss adaptation of new technology, cutting edge agronomy and best business practices with likeminded farmers and a wide range of relevant exhibitors. Join those who want to learn, invest in and implement strategies to combat the effects of the increasingly dynamic, uncertain and competitive world of global crop production. Discover how your farming business compares and how benchmarking could help you become more profitable.

Tickets for The CropTec Show are free providing you pre-register at: www.croptecshow.com

Wednesday 29th & Thursday 30th November at the East of England Showground, Peterborough. 


Yorkshire farmer Paul Temple has been appointed as the new chairman of The Voluntary Initiative (VI).

Ruth Bailey, Chief Executive Officer of the Agricultural Engineers Association and Chair the Voluntary Initiative Community Interest Group representing the sponsoring organisations, announcing the appointment, said: “I am delighted to say that following a recruitment exercise involving an extremely high class field of candidates, Paul Temple has been selected to be the new VI Chairman.

“Paul’s breadth of knowledge of the agriculture industry, including his time as Vice President of the National Farmers’ Union, and his experience as an innovative farmer who is a willing adopter of new technologies, makes him an obvious choice to lead the VI at this challenging time for the agriculture industry.
“I would also like to thank the outgoing Chairman Richard Butler for his outstanding contribution to the work of the VI over the past six years.  Richard has been instrumental in making the VI the industry champion for high-class environmental stewardship.”
Paul Temple who farms near Driffield in East Yorkshire offered his thanks to all the sponsor organisations of the VI for the trust they have placed in him to take the organisation forward.
“I am honoured to have been chosen to lead the VI at this important time for British agriculture,” he said
“Although we do not yet know the Government’s plans for our sector, I know that the pressure on all of us to continue to produce good wholesome food at a price that is fair to the producer and consumer alike will increase.
“To achieve this, we must always look to make the most agri-economic efficient use of our land.  This brings challenges that will require the industry to adopt new and innovative practices that encourage greater use of integrated approaches and the continued responsible use of pesticides.  We also need to demonstrate that the whole industry takes stewardship of our land seriously and, as importantly, we must do this in a way that is sympathetic to the wider environment.”

Pesticides in the UK – The 2016 report on the impacts and sustainable use of pesticides

‘Pesticides in the UK – The 2016 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:


The annual report (a 2.4MB pdf file) may also be accessed directly at:


Readers may wish to note the new format of the 2016 report and integration of the indicators’ graphics and data into Annex 1.       

Want to Know What’s Been Changed in RB209?

The main fertiliser recommendation system used in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RB209) has been updated in a ninth edition. 

The major changes are to the grassland recommendations, which have been re-structured. In addition, an optional yield adjustment to the nitrogen recommendations for cereals has been introduced. However, there are many other detailed changes and it’s important to use the new edition right away.

The new Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) is in seven sections, all of which are available in several formats:
Free of charge at AHDB events
As an app for Apple or Android (coming soon) devices
As a navigable PDF 
Hard copies are available to order by emailing cereals.publications@ahdb.org.uk 

The main changes from the eighth edition (published in 2010) are as follows: 
Section one: Principles of nutrient management and fertiliser use
More concise information
The risk of sulphur deficiency has been highlighted
Guidance on building soil P & K Indices more rapidly
Increased emphasis on soil sampling
Guidance on when SMN sampling can be most useful
Section two: Organic materials
Includes instructional videos on sampling slurry and farm yard manure
Provides information on the availability of sulphur from organic materials
N, P2O5 and K2O nutrient content values for manures and slurries have been updated
Nutrient content of digestate has been added
Section three: Grassland and forage crops
N recommendations now based on expected dry matter yield without linking to particular animal production systems (dairy, beef or sheep), milk yield, stocking rate or concentrate use
Whole season nitrogen requirements and application sequences provided separately for cutting and grazing situations
Recommendations for swedes, turnips, rape and kale altered to reflect more grazing in-situ
Section four: Arable crops
Cereal recommendations have been revised and now include an optional adjustment based on expected yield for winter wheat, winter barley, spring barley and winter triticale
Section five: Potatoes
Updated determinacy groups
Recommendation to apply sulphur where the risk of deficiency is high
Section six: Vegetables and bulbs
Recommendations for baby leaf lettuce, wild rocket, coriander and mint have been added
Sweetcorn and leek recommendations have been revised
Information of leaf nutrient analysis has been added
Section seven: Fruit, vines and hops
Guidance on timing of nitrogen applications to blackcurrants and raspberries have been revised
Information on leaf nutrient analysis for substrate grown strawberries has been added

BASIS Registration Ltd

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