CASE STUDY

JULY 2022

NIAB

NIAB is the UK’s fastest growing crop science organisation, with rapidly expanding research capabilities in plant genetics, agronomy, farming systems and data science, the largest national field trials capability, and strong research links with industry, Government and academia.

Headquartered in Cambridge, with regional offices across the country, NIAB employs more than 400 people across the UK, providing scientific research, technical services and practical advice to improve the yield, efficiency and resilience of crop production across the arable, forage and horticulture sectors.

About

Founded in 1919, and with a longstanding international reputation for expertise in plant varieties and seeds, today NIAB’s scientific abilities span the crop improvement pipeline; from underpinning research required to develop higher yielding climate resilient crops through to the xtensive trials data, agronomy expertise and advice needed to ensure these advances are transferred effectively onto farm.

Crops

Major and minor cereals including

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Triticale
  • Maize

Oil crops including

  • Oilseed rape
  • Linseed
  • Flax
  • Ahiflower

Roots and tubers

  • Potatoes
  • Sugarbeet
  • Carrots

Vegetables

  • Courgettes
  • Pumpkins
  • Sweetcorn
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Leeks

Fruit

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Grapes (viticulture)

“ QuickTrials is truly the modern approach to trials data management. Not only do they have a first-class product, the team is first-class too.”

Charles Gentry

Contract Trials

NIAB conducts contract agricultural trials for a wide range of customers, from large multinational agri-food companies and manufacturers of plant protection products, to small farming groups and agri-tech start-ups. Each customer has a unique specification for data collection and delivery, whether it is through spreadsheets or desktop software such as Agricultural Research Manager (ARM).

This can sometimes be challenging as it increases time and effort to collate and transcribe data, as well as increasing the likelihood of human error, leading to longer turnaround times at a very busy time of year.

More recently, NIAB has seen the needs of its customers changing as data is becoming the lifeblood of their businesses. Customers increasingly need access to trials data earlier to make tight seasonal decisions about their products, and they need it well organised, often to be piped directly into their enterprise databases.

When customers ask NIAB to use QuickTrials for data gathering, it is a win-win: customers can access their data straight away and NIAB has a best-in-class data collection tool at its disposal.

Data Collection

In the past, it used to be that customers only required very basic numeric data: things like plot yields and disease scores captured with pen and paper. In 2022, most of NIAB’s customers require a multitude of data types: multiple images per plot, GPS points, field boundaries and more.

With the ubiquity of smartphones, every trial officer has the perfect data collection tool in their pocket and that’s where QuickTrials really excels and provides value to NIAB.

QuickTrials’ mobile applications allows NIAB staff to not only capture this data effortlessly, but it also organises and stores it directly against the trial or individual plot without any additional effort, no more downloading and renaming images from cameras! What’s more, NIAB can roll the app out to all staff at no additional cost to the customer thanks to QuickTrials’ robust user access and unlimited number of user accounts.

“ We could record observations and immediately share results with the customer, without any additional steps. ”

Hillary Papworth

Future of Trials

Speed, organisation and access are at the forefront of businesses who rely on agricultural trial data and this will only increase in the future. QuickTrials is perfectly placed to help them, and their suppliers like NIAB, meet these needs.

Charles Gentry

Project Manager

Hillary Papworth

Senior Technical Manager

Charles Gentry

Project Manager

Hillary Papworth

Senior Technical Manager

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For more information please visit www.niab.com

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