New courses to give growers expert advice on making profitable improvements

Today sees the first course delivered by a new industry- and government-funded training body for the horticulture and arable sector.

Intended to keep farmers, growers and agronomists up to date with the latest industry technologies, techniques and thinking, the Agri-tech Register and Training for Innovation and Skills (ARTIS) is industry-led and based on the latest research.

Covering areas including soils and water, crop protection and nutrient management, the courses will present the most productive methods for boosting farm productivity and profitability, and will be held at a range of venues in growing areas.

The first of five Soils Foundation training days is being held at Ely, Cambridgeshire today.

Project funding for the next three years includes a £1 million grant from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, a £1.2million cash contribution from industry, and £1.3m of in-kind funding.

It aims to eventually accredit 300 agronomists and experts to deliver field and classroom courses, while courses will also be available online for interactive distance learning.

The project is being overseen by G's Growers, partnered by NIAB and East Malling Research, while LANTRA will be responsible for employer engagement, accreditation and quality control.

For more details go to the ARTIS website.

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