21510033: Assessment and analysis of field trials at the Strategic Cereal Farm West

21510033: Assessment and analysis of field trials at the Strategic Cereal Farm West


AHDB Farm Excellence is a channel for integrating farmers and their businesses into the wider AHDB Research and Knowledge Exchange (KE) programmes. Across an extensive scope of agricultural businesses, we have inspirational farmers opening their doors to others to learn, share and create new ideas to drive innovation and increase productivity.

The Strategic Cereal Farm West started in June 2018 and is a platform for integrating research and practical farming that has the potential to change the way we farm for the better. It demonstrates new ways of working in a commercial setting. The project will showcase relevant research through a programme of trials and demonstrations in addition to KE events to share the results with the wider industry. Approaches are subject to full cost-benefit analysis and are designed to help farmers assess the possibility of changing approaches on their own farms.

More information on the programme can be found online at: cereals.ahdb.org.uk/get-involved/strategic-farms/strategic-farm-west 

Farm host Rob Fox, Farm Manager, Squab Hall Farm.

Location Squab Hall Farm, Bishops Tachbrook, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV33 9QB. 


AHDB wish to commission the assessment and analysis of Strategic Cereal Farm West field trials for Harvest 2020 to provide information to cereal and oilseed farmers and agronomists on opportunities to improve the resource efficiency of farming. 

Research partnership approach

Joint proposals from two or more contractors are acceptable and encouraged where there is added value. AHDB may, if it is deemed desirable, request applicants to form a consortium to work together. There should be one organisation designated as the lead organisation for the Partnership which is responsible for project management and delivery. The group size should be manageable. Prospective partnerships can comprise both research institutes and industrial partners, be multi-disciplinary, and draw on a range of research experience for a number of crops. Therefore, the group does not necessarily need to have a history of working together previously. Further, priority will be given to the applicants with in-kind and or cash funding from the industry. 

Project duration and budget

AHDB has set aside a maximum total budget of £70,000 over 12 months. Proposals should demonstrate costs per work package. The earliest date of commencement for work funded as a result of this call will be October 2019. 

Completion and submission of the application form

Applicants should complete an application form for projects over £50,000 use a large proposal form, referring to the guidance notes to aid completion. 

Applications are made on the basis of the terms and conditions of the AHDB Research Funding Agreement and any organisation receiving funding shall comply with the terms and conditions specified in the Contract. AHDB will not be held responsible for any expenses or losses incurred by applicants in the preparation of an application(s).

Completed application forms should be submitted to research@ahdb.org.uk no later than 09:00 on 2 September 2019.

Proposed timings for application and project delivery

Call Published

29 July 2019

Full Proposal deadline

There is no Concept or Expressions of Interest phase.

Make an electronic submission to research@ahdb.org.uk no later than 09:00 on 2 September 2019.

Receipt will be the time of receiving email.

Applicants notified

6 September 2019

Project commences

1 October 2019

Project completion

1 October 2020

Once the successful applicant has been notified, an inception meeting will be arranged before the project commences to finalise the protocol and site accessibility. 

Project management

This project will be managed by a project committee comprising representatives of the successful applicant, AHDB staff, host farmer and other suitably qualified individuals (determined by AHDB). The successful applicant must appoint a trial manager for the day to day management of the project and must provide evidence in their application that these individuals have suitable experience.

The successful applicant must draw up a protocol for the trials which should be shared with the project committee before work begins.

Records and data handling: All paper and electronic records must be kept as per contractor’s procedures. Data should be recorded appropriately, and supplied to AHDB.

Procedures in the event of delays: If prolonged adverse conditions result in delays of over 7 days, notify the AHDB Knowledge Transfer Manager promptly. 

Risk assessment: The contractor must supply a risk assessment for the trial to cover all elements of the work and that is compliant with industry regulations. 

Assessment of Proposals

All submitted proposals will be reviewed by cross-sector research and KE representatives within AHDB and external industry representatives. The selection will be an open and fair competition according to AHDB’s procurement policy, which complies with EU state aid rules. 

Knowledge Exchange (KE)

The successful contractor will be required to make a significant contribution to KE. Platform presentations at AHDB events may be required and the successful contractor must be able to provide suitably qualified people to speak at these events and show evidence of their experience of speaking to grower audiences. Attendance at events will be paid at a day rate plus expenses (see below) and the costs should not be included in the contractor’s proposal.

The successful contractor may also be expected to contribute towards the preparation of publications, updates and blog posts related to the project as required on an ad-hoc basis. This will include providing commentary on project results, and sense checking. The costs of this must be included within the proposal submission and these costs should be indicated separately.

Presentations of material at events not requested by and/or directly supported by AHDB will not be funded by AHDB, but must be cleared with AHDB in advance.

Current AHDB day rates and expenses for presenters at AHDB events: speaker day rate of £475 + VAT. Receipts (originals or copies) must be provided for all expenses claimed. Expenses authorised whilst engaged on business on behalf of AHDB.

  • Travel

    • (Business mileage 45p/mile)

  • Subsistence

    • Evening meal – up to £28.00 per person, inclusive of VAT

    • Other meals – up to £10.00 per person, inclusive of VAT

  • Accommodation

    • maximum of £160 for London and any other capital city inclusive of VAT

    • maximum of £110 per night elsewhere inclusive of VAT

  • Other reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred 

Questions and Answers

If you have specific questions relating to this call, please email research@ahdb.org.uk. All questions & answers will be published. As part of the open tender process, AHDB cannot discuss specific programme details prior to proposal submission.  

Click here to see the Overview of trials for Harvest 2020 and Work Package Assessments