The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) will highlight its role at Cereals as a leading science and technology transfer organisation in the government’s 2030 Food Strategy.

The main theme for the FERA stand will be 2030: Meeting the Challenge, which will feature a main marquee and nine crop plots.

The marquee will:

• Introduce Fera’s role in the context of the six key themes of the 2030 strategy

• Look at the role of Fera’s agri-environment research in supporting industry to address the challenges of sustainable production

• Cover Fera’s ecosystem services

The nine plots will:

• Demonstrate crop pest and disease management issues and how these are informed by the latest research, with science posters in a walk through area

• Demonstrate Fera’s CropMonitor website

• Illustrate work on plant varieties and seeds and how this feeds into national listings.

CropMonitor – is being showcased. This website provides up to date information (sourced from monitoring sites located across the country) of crop pest and disease activity in arable crops throughout England. This information is invaluable in helping growers make spraying and treatment decisions.

There will be nine demonstration plots in total. Five plots will cover crop disease based on the following topics: Tanspot; yellow rust; septoria; BYDV; and some recent research on viruses in wheat.

The other four plots illustrate some aspects of the work from Fera’s office at Cambridge. For example, winter wheat varieties Viscount and Gallant highlight variety testing for national listing and a plot using pure seed of Hereward deliberately admixed with another variety to discuss seed certification.

The fourth plot in the series will form the basis for discussion on different ways of farming that can help the environment with reference to wild bees and other pollinators.

The plots will be used as a back drop to discuss the annual fluctuations in pest and disease risks and the importance of surveillance and monitoring to protect crop production.

In particular, the plots – conditions permitting – will demonstrate the emerging threat of tan spot and the currently uncertain status of viruses. Experts will also be on hand to discuss more established and sporadic pest and diseases, such as aphids, septoria and fusarium head blight.

There will be a mini-science trail based on crop and food security and disease management issues, together with crop assurance and diversity issues.

Diagnostic experts from Fera’s Plant Health Clinic will hold a mini clinic on the stand.

*Cereals 2010 exhibitor information as supplied by FERA.