NIAB has jointly managed the centre, which first opened in 2009, with Pearce Seeds for the past twelve months. NIAB takes full control, with immediate effect, of the trials delivery business. The centre, along with its satellite trials sites across the south-west, includes over 4,000 arable and forage crop plots, covering levy board and industry-funded variety, agronomy and demonstration trials.
NIAB is the UK’s leading trials company with over 150,000 crop plots across 100 trials sites, stretching from Cornwall to the Scottish Border. Plumber Farm becomes NIAB’s eleventh regional field trials centre. Other sites include Cambridge, Morley (Norfolk), East Malling (Kent), Sutton Scotney (Hampshire), Newton Abbot (Devon), Hereford, Telford (Shropshire), Benniworth and Kirton (Lincolnshire) and Headley Hall (Yorkshire). A twelfth centre near Cirencester, in Gloucestershire, is expected to open in 2020.
NIAB’s Director of Commercial Services Nick Watson says, “This is a great opportunity to further strengthen our trials offering across the south of England as well as ensuring a valuable research and trials resource is retained and expanded for customers and farmers in the area.
“Our new Dorset centre will be covered by our south-west trials team, headed up by our southern regional manager Mark Wavish, who is experienced in delivering a wide range of variety performance and crop agronomy research trials for farmers and industry. Trials officer Ivan Brain will be based at the centre, ensuring local coverage and knowledge is maintained.”