Cereals 2009: What to see at this year’s event

The Cereals event is now firmly established as the leading technical event for the arable industry in Europe. Organiser Haymarket Exhibitions expects more than 23,000 farmers and industry experts to visit the event during the two days.

This year there are more than 400 companies exhibiting and the site extends to 64ha. To help you get the best from your trip to Cereals 2009, Farmers Weekly has picked some of the highlights.

Crop plots

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A total of 28 companies are presenting more than 90 crop plots, reflecting the work being done by some of the country’s leading researchers, plant breeders and technical managers.

Within these “live demonstrations” visitors can view and assess both new and established varieties of cereals, oilseeds and pulses, as well as potato and sugar beet varieties.

Plots also represent the latest thinking in agronomic, rotational and nutrient management, and explore the likely effects of ongoing changes in Brussels’ legislation on nitrogen and pesticide management.

Some highlight work being done to examine how climate change might affect pests and diseases; others examine how crops are being bred to respond to predicted changes in weather and water availability.

Research and development plant breeding projects show a strong emphasis on developments being made in end markets and to specific traits.

HSBC Farmer Forums

HSBC’s Farmer Forums are well known for tackling key issues of the day. This year, NFU president Peter Kendall and HSBC Bank’s senior economist Mark Berrisford-Smith are outlining where they see the economy taking the arable sector over the coming months.

Mr Kendall is highlighting the importance of the arable sector in the overall British economy, not only in terms of domestic production and employment, but also in the value of exports now that exchange rates are more attractive. Mr Berrisford-Smith, renowned for his pragmatic and insightful economic commentary, will speak on how the recession is affecting and will affect farmers and the potential impact of developments in the global economy on exchange rates.

Syngenta Sprays & Sprayers Arena

There are 45 trailed, mounted and self-propelled sprayers from more than 20 manufacturers being demonstrated in Syngenta’s Sprays & Sprayers Arena.

Demo machine boom widths range from 12m to 40m and tank capacities from 800 to 6000 litres. There will also be a host of useful additions like quick-hitching, pendulum suspension to help boom stability, 2- to 4-wheel drive switches on headlands and novel boom recirculation systems which ease mixing. Syngenta is also presenting the ever-popular Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year award.

Machinery demos

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There will be 10ha of working machinery demos on both days of Cereals. Equipment on show will include the latest tractors, drills and cultivation equipment from a wide range of companies, as well as GPS and guidance systems. There will be a set timetable of demos and running commentaries accompanying each demonstration.

Follow the Science Trail

The Science Trail includes seven organisations selected to show visiting MPs and government representatives why more science-based funding is needed for the arable sector and where the current UK R&D is focused. Organised by the NFU and Haymarket, the “Trail” will take in the following exhibitor stands: Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC), the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB), the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), HGCA, the John Innes Centre, NIAB and Rothamsted Research.

Renewables

The Renewables area, sponsored by Drax Power, is a specialist exhibition area dedicated to renewable energy generation and supply opportunities for UK farms. The exhibiting companies represent some of the most experienced energy generation, equipment manufacturing and consultancy businesses in the country, and they will give visitors interested in bio-renewables a great “one-stop-shop”.

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