14 June 2002

Year-round issues will be events focus

Sprays & Sprayers on Tue,

June 25 and Wed, June 26,

is your one-stop-shop for all

thats new in sprayer

technology, supported by a

host of agronomic

messages. We provide a

preview over the following

eight pages, starting here

with a sneak preview of the

event highlights

VISUALISING management issues throughout the year to help growers make the most of crops during the on-going period of low profitability is the main focus of this years Sprays & Sprayers event.

"Rather than just providing a snapshot of how crops look at the time of the event we want the plots to highlight issues from the rest of the year as well," says Nigel Thornton of event organiser Syngenta.

Autumn weed control in oilseed rape is a case in point, being brought to life in late June with a series of time travel plots, showing ultra-early drilled rape plants battling hard against cereal volunteers.

Three different establishment methods – plough and drill, direct drill into wheat stubble and Autocast into wheat stubble – provide a novel backdrop for advice on managing weed burdens and autumn phoma.

The "Real Cost Demo" is another very visual exhibit, showing the impact of diseases such as septoria, rust and rhynchosporium in terms of pints of beer and loaves of bread lost. Experts will be on hand to provide advice on fungicide choice, dose and timing.

Also on show will be the new Amistar nozzle, designed to boost T3 ear spray coverage, plus a soil pit to highlight the stem-base issues of lodging and eyespot control.

The total approach to weed control examines the role of rotation, cultural methods and herbicide management, complemented by a desiccation and set-aside area tackling pre-harvest management.

A further visual plot shows how many weeds/sq m cut yield by 4% on a 10t/ha crop – in other words £23.40/ha less in your pocket. The Grass Weed Screen pinpoints how many wild oats, blackgrass, ryegrass and cleavers knock crop yields 4%.

Main machinery arena

The main machinery arena, which is bigger than before, includes areas of crop as well as the traditional obstacle course to test a range of the latest machines with boom widths of up to 42m.

All around the arena are sprayer manufacturer and equipment supplier stands. If any of the kit on show takes your fancy book a test drive in the Sprayer Test Drive Area on a grassed area.

The arena also hosts the finale for the prestigious Syngenta/ farmers weekly Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year Award. The winner from eight sprayer operator finalists will be announced at 12 noon on Tue, June 25.

Potato plots

Time travel applies to the potato plots, condensing the whole season into less than 100m of crop plots highlighting the four key growth stages.

A bed tiller will show the importance of accurate application and incorporation of nematicides, Syngentas Mixmaster guide showing how to match application to cultivation strategy and machinery.

Newly emerged potatoes will illustrate the timing for very early blight control, while plots where the canopy is rapidly developing and complete are linked to aphid control strategies, particularly MACE-resistance.

Some plots have been planted early so the end of season can be mimicked in June to focus on desiccation and blight control.

Vegetables

Vegetable growers will be able to see how their crops can benefit from the first new chemistry for the sector since triazoles 20 years ago.

Amistar (azoxystrobin), the first strob approved for use in veg, can help a wide range of crops including bulb onions and carrots as well as field brassicas, cabbage and broccoli.

Voluntary Initiative

Just how the industry is tackling the threat of a pesticide tax will be explained by the Crop Protection Association. It has pulled together 27 industry-actions under the Voluntary Initiative and will announce results of a major pesticide usage survey.

New technology

How aerial imaging can help you manage your crops more effectively is the aim of a new £200,000 Syngenta/ Infoterra/ Velcourt project. On-farm validation this year could lead to a commercial service next year.

Variety plots

Cereal variety plots will include high yielding six-row winter barley hybrids due for launch in 2003, plus oilseed rape, sugar beet, maize and sunflower varieties.

Conservation

Back by popular demand, the mini-farm biodiversity demo staged by FWAG, the RSPB and others, shows how non-cropped areas of the farm can contribute to wildlife and landscape biodiversity.

SPRAYS & SPRAYERS

&#8226 When: Tue, June 25 and Wed June 26.

&#8226 Where: Whittlesford, Cambs.

&#8226 Whats on: Sprayer demos, seminars, over 100 exhibitors, agronomy advice, Elmdon heavy-land trials site, Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year Award presentation.

&#8226 Admission: £7 on the day; £2 off if booked on-line at www.fwi.co.uk

&#8226 Information: 01223-494223, www.spraysandsprayers.com

Take your seats for Elmdon trials tour

Coaches for Elmdon depart every 15min from Whittlesford, the guided site tour lasting about two hours.

1. Blackgrass management. Heavy land and a heavy blackgrass burden provide the backdrop for demonstrating the importance of rotation, drilling date and cultivations. First wheat after beans was sown on Sept 25 and Oct 13, with cultivations split between ploughing and min-till and three herbicide treatments used to show low, medium and high input approaches. Results will be clear to see in June.

2. Disease control. 24m tramlines of eight winter wheat varieties and four winter barley varieties, including a new barley hybrid, are the focus of this demonstration of three different disease control strategies. Three treatments show the effects of different strob mixes at T1, T2 and a new formulated strob mix for T1/T2.

3. Aerial answers. A chance to see how aerial images of the field taken through the year have influenced crop management and input decisions in a £200,000 Syngenta/Infoterra/Velcourt project.

ARENA PROGRAMME

Tue, 25 June

9.30 Self-propelled sprayers

2,500litres and above.

10.15 Air-assisted, skid unit and

self-propelled <2,500 litres.

11.15 Mounted sprayers.

12.00 Syngenta/farmers weekly Farm

Sprayer Operator of Year award.

12.30 Trailed sprayers.

1.15 Self-propelled sprayers

2500 litres and above.

2.00 Air-assisted, skid units and

self-propelled <2500 litres.

3.00 Mounted sprayers.

3.40 Trailed sprayers.

4.30 Finish.

Wed, 26 June

9.30-12.00 Sprayer demos as Tuesday.

12.00 Trailed sprayers.

12.45 Self-propelled sprayers

2500 litres and above.

1.30 Air-assisted, skid units and

self-propelled <2500 litres.

2.30 Mounted sprayers.

3.15 Trailed sprayers.

4.00 Finish.

Seminar programme

Tue, 25 June

12.00 E-commerce John

Reynolds, First4Farming.

1.00 Hybrid barley Simon Phillips/

Paul Bury, Syngenta Seeds.

2.00 Spray application

Tim Scott, farmer.

3.00 Arable strategies Richard

Warburton, Bidwells.

Wed, 26 June

10.30 The European Pesticide

Review Peter Chapman, PSD.

11.30 After 2003 – the impact on

minor crops Cathy Knott.

1.00 Assured produce v other global

schemes Richard Baines, RAC.

2.00 Arable pilot scheme Andrew

Sherrott, DEFRA.