What is a field lab?

Field labs are practical, hands-on trials that are open to everyone. Working with a group of likeminded farmers and a top researcher, you can get fast and thorough insight in to the challenges facing your business.

How does it work?

  1. A group of farmers or growers come together around an idea. Sometimes they're an existing discussion or buying group, other times we'll help bring people together who care about the same topic.
  2. We'll help you organise a 'kick-off' meeting. This can be on farm or in the pub, the important bit is getting together to discuss what you'd like to trial.
  3. We'll match you with a researcher. We're working with the UK's leading agricultural research institutions and can match you with a specialist who will be right for your group.
  4. The researcher will help you plan your trial and you'll decide together what data to record. As the trial develops you'll meet up, see how things are progressing and adapt if it's necessary.
  5. At the end of the trial the researcher will help you analyse your findings. They'll be published online and in the press. You can then use them to inform your business decisions, or to plan another field lab.


What does it cost?

You can join the network for free. This gives you access to field lab reports and the online portal. When you want to join a group and start trialling, there may be a charge. Some field labs are funded by a sponsor, others will split the cost between group members.

The cost of running a field lab depends on who coordinates: 

  • We Coordinate: We can provide a coordinator from our team. They would do the leg work, including organising meetings, facilitating them and reporting. £3,500 + VAT per year.
  • You Coordinate: If you’d rather coordinate the group yourself, then you still benefit from the admin support to lighten the load. £1,000 + VAT per year
  • Sponsored: Thanks to the support of sponsors like AHDB, BBSRC and Riverford we have opportunities to start a group for free. Just get in touch to see if your idea qualifies. Free

Most groups meet a handful of times each year but there’s no obligation to attend every meeting. You can either trial on your own farm, or watch and learn from what others are doing. So you decide how much time to invest.

Could you sponsor a field lab and help get on-farm research, off the ground?

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