A beefed-up seminar programme including one theatre dedicated to conservation agriculture, a test drive area plus an expanded machinery demo area are some of the changes for this year’s Cereals event.
The new organisers for this year have introduced changes based on feedback from farmers and exhibitors, starting with a greater focus on innovation and new technology.
To help you make the most of your visit on 12-13 June, here are six features not to miss at this year’s event.
1. Beefed-up seminar programme
At the request of visitors in previous years, there is a seminar theatre dedicated to conservation agriculture, with experts and farmers offering insights on successful no-till farming and improving soil health.
Returning this year is the Cereals AHDB Theatre covering strategies such as making integrated pest management work on arable farms and preparing businesses for a more uncertain future.
Also new for 2019 is the Innovation and Technology Theatre. This aims to address the future of arable farming by looking at high-tech solutions to problems such as weed and disease control.
2. Crop plots
Crop plots are what makes Cereals unique and are at the heart of the Agronomy Zone. There are several guided tours, one of which focuses on the latest variety offerings, giving farmers the first opportunity to see for themselves the newcomers to the AHDB Recommended List.
Visitors will also hear about crop nutrition and the latest crop-protection products. Guided tours aim to help visitors discover the best products, services and advice for their farms.
3. Soil pit
Soil health continues to be a hot topic, with soil degradation costing the industry at least £1.2bn a year in England and Wales alone, according to the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
The 20m long by 1.5m-deep soil pit shows farmers what really goes on below ground and how they can tackle key soil issues.
4. International Farming Superstars
Organised by Farmers Weekly, this section brings together four International Superstars who will reveal their experiences in adopting new technology and practices to drive crop performance.
They are pioneering growers from around the world, including a Canadian farmer who has been no-till since the early 1980s and an Australian farmer using robotics on his farm.
5. New machinery and technology
To see the latest sprayers on the market put through their paces, head to the Syngenta Sprays and Sprayers area. It is also where visitors will see the first ever live demo of drones spraying crops.
Visitors can get in the driver’s seat with the new Ride and Drive feature. Test-driving equipment alongside a qualified representative will provide unique insight into how new technologies and equipment can improve the workings of your farm.
6. Business area
Brexit, the Agriculture Bill, labour costs and volatile markets are all set to impinge on arable profits. There is plenty of advice in the Business Zone including Strutt and Parker coming up with smart ways to cut fixed costs by £100/ha or more.