Arable margins are tight and prices are volatile, so it is said to be more important than ever for farmers to squeeze every pound out of their crops.
Whether it is through precision machinery, optimum crop choice or using expert advice to produce a more efficient business strategy, there is plenty on offer to help farmers to boost profits at this year’s Cereals 2017 event, held at Boothby Graffoe.
Bringing together nearly 500 exhibitors to showcase the latest arable innovations, this will be the 40th event.
“Visiting Cereals gives arable farmers the opportunity to see what they should do, what they could do and what they would like to do,” says event organiser Jon Day. “We’ve seen visitors return year after year, whether for the latest technical information, to review and compare machinery or simply for the networking opportunity – Cereals delivers.”
Stretching over 64ha on a working farm and attracting more than 24,000 visitors every year, Cereals is a hub for arable innovation. With so much on offer, here are just five key reasons why visitors won’t want to miss Cereals 2017.
The Soil Pit
This year visitors will see the return of the Soil Pit – albeit larger than ever before – where farmers will have the chance to view crops ‘underground’ in the soil profile. With crops such as winter and spring beans as well as radish and oat mixes included in this year’s pit, experts will be on hand to discuss a variety of topics – including cultivation techniques and rooting habits of different cover crops. Visitors are also encouraged to bring a sample of their own soil to discuss how specific issues can be rectified on their own farms.
Cereals features millions of pounds worth of static machinery, and there will also be 5ha of working demonstrations where the power, productivity and performance of tractors, cultivators, drills and subsoilers will be put to the test. But it is not just about kit on the ground - The Drone Zone will also feature demonstrations. With an on-site flying cage for short flights as well a nearby crop field for longer flights, visitors will be able to see how drones can be used to collect data and provide real benefits on farm.
The Arable Conference
For those wanting to keep up with the latest industry research and news, the Arable Conference will cover a breadth of topics – from Brexit to glyphosate. In association with the De Lacy Executive, the conference will host a range of high calibre speakers including NFU president Meurig Raymond and Liz Bowles, head of farming at the Soil Association.
Regular visitor and #ClubHectare founder, Jono Dixon, says attending the seminars is a must: “It’s a good idea to keep an eye on pre-show advertising to see what is being discussed – most seminars are popular and you’ll want to arrive early to get a seat.”
Bringing together nearly 500 exhibitors, there is a lot to see at Cereals and it can be hard for visitors to condense everything into a single day. This year’s event is making it easier for visitors to seek out the information they need, with the introduction of six Knowledge Trails. Visitors will be able to download maps prior to the show to help them pick out exhibitors to visit based on a chosen theme.
The topics of this year’s trails are:
Precision and efficiency
Adding value and managing costs
Brexit-proof your business
Weeds, disease and nutrition
Getting the most from oilseed rape
Fields of the Future
Technology has progressed rapidly over the past few decades and is likely to play a big role in revolutionising farming practices. Giving visitors just a hint of what is in store is the Fields of the Future display. Brand new for 2017, this area will collate innovations and research from some of the country’s leading universities and businesses to showcase exactly what is in the pipeline.
Syngenta, sponsors of the Sprays and Sprayers arena, says that at such an uncertain time for the industry, Cereals helps to put farmers in the best position for the future. “At such a time of political and economic uncertainty, it’s never been more important for farmers to be looking at every aspect of their agronomy and business performance,” says Cat Gray, communications lead at Syngenta. “There’s no better place than Cereals to get that information.”
Tickets are on sale via the website www.cerealsevent.co.uk/tickets and visitors can use the promocode CEREALS17TOS to save over 15% on the ticket price.