- Forward-thinking arable farmers can access exclusive updates and insights from industry leaders and innovators through the seminar programme at CropTec on 29th and 30th November
Held at the NAEC, Stoneleigh for the first time this year, the event and its seminars bring together leading voices to tackle the sector’s most pressing topics.
Past AHDB chair and former NFU president Sir Peter Kendall will chair the second session which will delve into issues around crop nutrition. As agriculture strives to achieve its sustainability goals, this roundtable discussion will see experts explore the importance of low carbon crop nutrition, while looking at the future of fertiliser policy in a changing climate. Panellists include Mark Tucker, business development and head of agronomy for session sponsor Yara and independent agronomist David Boulton from Indigro. “Anyone who has lived through the last 12 months of fertiliser prices will be considering really carefully all available options for plant nutrition in their system. Now is a great time to plan for the future,” said Sir Peter. “I am looking forward to being part of this year’s CropTec at its new location. The show comes at a great time of year when we have the chance to review our previous harvest and plan for the spring season ahead of us.”
Andrew Williams, manager of Home Farms in Nacton will discuss his experience with robotics on the Suffolk farm producing conventional arable crops and organic vegetables. Robotics and other technologies are being developed at pace, so being prepared to make swift investment decisions is essential, he said. “These innovations are going to arrive, come what may, so farming businesses need to get to grips with developments coming down the road.”
Jack Smith, Farm Director for AG Wright & Sons, will explore the importance of data in decision making. “There is a ‘sitting in the office’ answer, which needs to be squared with the ‘standing in a field’ answer,” he said. “It’s about taking insights from both and coming to a sensible informed decision.”
The final session of the day tackles crop protection and changing regulation, with expert input from agronomists and plant breeding. David Schaffer of RAGT will give an overview of breeding research to improve levels and durability of varietal resistance for UK farmers. This will include RAGT’s work on barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) resistant wheat as well as new selection technologies to complement field scoring. Other speakers include James Bairstow, agronomist and associate director for Strutt & Parker who will share his expertise on Integrated Pest Management and Dave Bench, chief executive of CropLife UK which represents the plant science industry.