29 May 1998


Making the right input decisions for the environment and

the pocket is the theme of the Decision with Precision

central feature at Cereals 98 an area no grower can afford

to miss. Louise Impey previews whats on display

CEREAL growers seeking to make the best use of farm inputs while minimising the risk to the environment should make time to visit the Decision with Precision central exhibit at this years Cereals Event, says co-ordinator Jim Orson of Morley Research Centre.

"Whether its farming the edge of fields to encourage bio-diversity with buffer strips and conservation headlands, or ways of minimising pesticide and fertiliser leaching into surface water – visitors will find plenty of up-to-date information and expert help on hand," he says.

"Government policies are increasingly moving towards support for environmental benefits. So it makes financial sense to find out about some of the techniques which can be used. The recent wet weather has also concentrated minds on the whole leaching subject."

Issues such as the possible introduction of a nitrogen tax and pressure to reduce levels of IPU in water are also prompting farmers to consider changes to their traditional regimes, believes Mr Orson. The Farming on the Edge part of the exhibit will demonstrate just some of the options available.

"The aim of this years exhibit is to show growers how they can reduce pollution and prevent pesticides and nitrogen getting into water, while still farming profitably and achieving high yields, " he adds.

Among the displays will be:

&#8226 two different methods designed to improve the accuracy of nitrogen applications.

&#8226 computer software which predicts pesticide leaching.

&#8226 disease forecasting techniques.

&#8226 guidance technology which can be fitted to farm machinery for mechanical weeding.

"We will also be featuring software which can be used to help the farmer with some of his decision processes," continues Mr Orson. "Our module will be looking at different fungicide programmes, showing how the effects of the season and the economic significance of the disease are used in the formulation of a control strategy.

"Other software at the event includes a package to improve the accuracy and timeliness of nitrogen applications and a programme to calculate the value of organic manures."

More precise use of inputs is vital for the health of farm profits and the environment alike, says Jim Orson, director of Morley Research Centre in Norfolk. At Cereals

98 event growers will find a host of new techniques in a central "Decision with Precision" feature.