101Smart Ltd.

Our Agronomists

John Clarke

John has been working as an independent agronomist in East Anglia for over 40 years, advising on all aspects of crop rotations, varieties, crop nutrition, agrochemicals, and soil structural management. He has a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture from Nottingham University plus all relevant industry certifications including BASIS and FACTS. John works in partnership with his Apex colleague, Jack Axtell.

John and Jack operate on a diverse range of farm sizes and soil types in East Anglia, providing an in-depth service on combinable crops, sugar beet, maize, and vining peas - with the sole remit of client gross margin maximisation.
John subscribes to the view that poorly remunerated farm environmental projects will be dependent on an underlying, substantially profitable, arable business which maximises gross margins. This is best achieved using independent technical advice, with an integrated approach and which is fully decoupled from the supply of any inputs.

John is heavily involved with the UK trials operations of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants - which generates trials data solely for the use of its members. His involvement, over 35 years, gives the group valuable early insight and observations on the performance and value of any new agrochemicals before they reach the market, plus data on new varieties and advances in crop nutrition.

Robert Hurren

Having grown up on a farm in Suffolk, Robert graduated from Reading University in 1993 with a BSc in Agricultural Botany. He spent 14 years working for a national Agrochemical Distributor in North East Suffolk and, in 2008 was offered the opportunity to take over an agronomy business from a retiring local Independent Agronomist which is where he is today.

Robert is a member of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants and served on the board between 2012 and 2018.

Robert’s working area covers North and Central Suffolk. He specialises in all aspects of combinable crops, sugar beet and vining peas, including soil management and gross margin analysis. He also offers advice on environmental schemes, including Countryside Stewardship and sees the new Environmental Land Management Scheme as the next big challenge facing farmers and agronomists alike.

Tim Martin

Tim’s early career was in research where he was involved with a number of projects including the growth and development of wheat, herbicides and weed control, and a period working with soil and foliar applied insecticides on sugar beet. These diverse experiences led to a detailed understanding of many of the issues that are so relevant today, such as the development of resistance to pesticides and how integrated strategies might work and be implemented.

Working mainly in West Suffolk, West Norfolk and Eastern Cambridgeshire, Tim has worked as an independent agronomist for 25 years; his client base operates over a diverse range of soil types. Farming businesses and cropping systems are varied and he has a broad experience of combinable, vining, forage and root crops.

The development of integrated strategies has been a key part of Tim’s work, including the management of soils and cultivations.

Tim represents the AICC on the BCPC Weeds Expert Working Group.

Ruth Naudé

Ruth grew up in Suffolk and graduated from Wye College in 1994 with BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Economics. She then worked as a potato agronomist in Kent for two and a half years before returning to her home county.

Ruth is BASIS, FACTS and ICM qualified and a member of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants. She has worked as an independent agronomist since 1997, initially for Simon Draper, before taking ownership of the business on his retirement. Ruth provides agronomic advice on combinable crops, sugar beet, vining peas & maize to clients across Suffolk. She believes in working closely with her clients in order to best cater for their individual agronomic requirements.

Scott Martin

Coming from a farming family in the Stowmarket area, Scott began his career in agronomy in 2011 working as a trainee with John Tunaley. This partnership built over the years and in 2014, Scott became a director of John Tunaley Agronomy Ltd. Since that time he has taken on the business in its entirety changing the name to Scott Martin Agronomy Ltd in 2018.

Scott advises on combinable crops, maize and sugar beet and believes that soil health and management are every bit as important as the chemical aspect of agronomy. The agronomy profession is increasingly about incorporating cultural controls for pest management and crop health and as independents we are ideally situated to provide advice on that, with no commercial axe to grind.

Scott works from North Essex throughout Suffolk and into Norfolk, as far as the A47.

Chris Nottingham

Chris graduated from Harper Adams in 1991 and initially worked for MAFF (now Defra) in the Plant Health & Seeds Inspectorate in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.  He joined ADAS as a trainee agronomist in 1998 and by late 1999 he was given the opportunity to take over the farmer client base of an agronomist who was moving to work in New Zealand.  Chris worked in this role in Lincolnshire until 2008, firstly with ADAS and then TAG (now NIAB TAG) working with a range of combinable crops and sugar beet.

In 2008 Chris was offered the opportunity to move to work in an agronomy role in New Zealand and spent 3.5 years working in South Island for PGG Wrightson, providing technical support for their field reps and running a trials programme and farmer discussion groups.  In 2012 he moved to Pukekohe in North Island and worked as an agronomist for large scale vegetable growers A.S. Wilcox & Sons, looking after onion, carrot, beet root, maize and cereal crops.

In 2015 Chris moved back to the UK after inheriting a share of a small farm in east Suffolk.  After initially working in vegetable consultancy, he joined Apex Agronomy in autumn 2017 and returned to arable crop agronomy, as well as continuing to provide agronomy for asparagus crops, which he had started on his return from New Zealand.

Jack Axtell

Jack grew up in Suffolk before graduating from Harper Adams University in 2015 with a BSc (Hons) in Countryside and Environmental Management. He then worked in estate management and ran his own rural business for several years until beginning his agronomy career in 2020 with Apex. Jack works in partnership with his Apex colleague, John Clarke, covering a diverse range of East Anglian arable businesses.

Advising on combinable crops and sugar beet, Jack believes that independent consultancy provides tailored and impartial expertise, which is becoming increasingly important with the ongoing pressures of balancing both sustainability and profitability.

Jack is BASIS and FACTS qualified and holds full membership with the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC). With recent completion of the BASIS Soil and Water Management qualification, Jack is continually looking to provide more value to his clients.

Jack is dedicated to providing sustainable farming solutions, primarily with the aim of profit maximisation, while also offering up-to-date guidance and support on government-led schemes such as the Sustainable Farming Incentive.

Matthew Paterson

Matthew grew up in South Norfolk, where he attended a local agricultural college and worked on various farms gaining valuable practical knowledge, before attending university. He has been working as an agronomist since graduating from Reading University in 2008 with a BSc Honours degree in Agriculture. Matthew started his agronomy career in North-East Suffolk with a group of independent agronomists and in 2010 was offered the opportunity to take over an agronomy business from retiring Essex Independent Agronomist Peter Taylor. He formed Matthew Paterson Agronomy Ltd in 2011 to provide agronomy services for clients in Essex, Hertfordshire, and South Cambridgeshire, covering a wide variety of crops including all combinable crops, forage crops, grassland and other more specialist crops.

Matthew is BASIS and FACTS qualified and a full member of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC) and will deliver advice with no vested interests as he has no commercial bias or commission derived from product sales. He sources information through various memberships including NIAB TAG, ADAS, Rothamsted and PGRO, as well as attending technical events throughout the year.

The services Matthew offers includes strategic advice on all aspects of crop husbandry, soil management, resistance testing and recommendations for crop protection and nutrition. His clients also benefit from technical events and trials visits.

Jodi Henry

Jodi grew up in Kent before graduating from Writtle University college in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) in Equine Science. She then worked for an agricultural buying group for 6 years as an Arable products business manager, before starting her agronomy career with Essex based independent agronomist Jamie Mackay.

Jodi formed JRH Agronomy Ltd in 2022 and supplies independent agronomy services in Essex, Hertfordshire and south Cambridgeshire providing tailored and impartial advice with no vested interests or commercial bias.

Jodi is BASIS and FACTS qualified, a full member of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC) and is interested in studying towards the ‘BASIS Diploma in Agronomy’ to provide the best value to her clients, especially looking at the future and changes within UK agriculture.

John Boothroyd

After graduating from Writtle College in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) degree in Agricultural Crop Production with Conservation Management, John began his career in Agronomy in Cambridgeshire and surrounding area. John gained valuable technical expertise by working closely alongside a group of experienced independent crop consultants, whilst also studying towards a MSc degree in Agriculture at Writtle College and achieving BASIS and FACTS qualifications.

John advises on all aspects of combinable crops and sugar beet as well as offering up-to-date advice on environmental schemes. Predominantly based in Cambridgeshire, but also advises on farms in North Essex, Bedfordshire, North Hertfordshire and West Suffolk. 

John is a full member of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC) and passionately believes in the value of independent agronomy.