Climate change is real, although its speed and extent remain uncertain

Most scientists now agree that climate change is well under way, although its speed and extent remain uncertain. Whatever happens, farming’s reliance on natural systems means it will be at the forefront of events.

Many challenges lie ahead, not least changing weather patterns. What effect will these have on production and, in turn, on markets?

What should the arable sector be doing to minimise its contribution to climate change? And what can it do to prepare?

New pests and diseases are likely to threaten arable crops. How can they be tracked and controlled? Can genetic resistance be usefully employed to combat them?

As well as threats, climate change is likely to bring opportunities too. Much of this will spring from the need for stricter carbon controls and the development of green fuels to help cut greenhouse emissions.

This year’s HGCA R&D Conference, Arable Cropping in a Changing Climate, aims to help growers keep abreast of the latest thinking, and to prepare for change.

Over two days, leading names in the industry will cover all of the above topics and more. They are certain to provoke some fascinating discussions.

* Organised by the HGCA, sponsored by the East Midlands Development Agency and Natural England in association with Farmers Weekly and Crops, the event takes place on 23 and 24 January, 2008. Be sure to put it in your diary.

Conference programme:

Day 1

  • Session 1 What is changing?
  • Includes papers from NFU president Peter Kendall and DEFRA’s Victoria Turner.
  • Session 2 How can farming adapt to change or help provide solutions?
  • Contributors include the SCRI’s Peter Gregory, Bill Angus of Nickersons and Eric Ober from Broom’s Barn.
  • Debate and discussion
  • Climate change presents more opportunities for British farmers than challenges
  • FOR Paul Temple, Vincent Hedley-Lewis.
  • AGAINST Guy Smith, David Harris.

Day 2

  • Session 3 How will climate change affect UK farmers?
  • Includes papers from Roger Street of UKCIP and ADAS’s Greg Hughes.
  • Session 4 Effects on pests and diseases.
  • Contributions from Judith Turner of CSL, Neal Evans of Rothamsted Research, Jon Oakley of ADAS and Ken Davies, SAC.
  • Session 5 New opportunities
  • Speakers include Monsanto’s Colin Merritt, ADAS’s Roger Sylvester-Bradley and John Williams from the National Non-Food Crops Centre.
  • hgca r&d conference Arable cropping in a changing climate

When: Wednesday 23 & Thursday 24 January 2008

Where: Belton Woods, Belton, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG32 2LNCost Day 1 or 2 £60 + VAT Day 1 + dinner £92.50 + VATTwo days + dinner £152.50 + VAT

Note – these costs are for levy payers other combinations are available.

Booking: For further details and/or to book your place at the conference, visit the HGCA’s website at or call 020 7520 3967.

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