National agronomy R&D network goes virtual

Growers across the country will be able to access their most relevant local trial findings, variety intelligence and cropping improvement advice from the UK’s most extensive agronomy research and demonstration network without leaving their farms this summer, thanks to the virtual 2020 events programme developed by Agrii.

Replacing the popular June and July open days and visits held at the company’s 21 iFarms and five Technology Centres while ‘lockdown’ continues, the virtual programme will mirror the actual events as closely as possible with talks from key specialists, video plot tours and all the information normally available to take away.
“Resetting soils and rotations after the wet winter, maximising margins through marketing, and raising resilience against resistance are among the topical subjects we’ll be covering,” explains digital communications manager, Gary Rush. “Of course, the programme will include the latest findings from 20 years of grassweed management-based research at Stow Longa, We’ll also have detailed insights from our comprehensive national cereals and OSR variety trials at Throws Farm, AgriiFocus and Bishop Burton, together with the best local variety and agronomy intelligence from our wider iFarm work.

Examining wheat varieties at AgriiFocus 3
 “In addition, visitors will be able to find out about the exciting new network of Digital Technology Farms we’ve established this season in partnership with Rhiza to test precision technologies in the most robust way possible and help growers make the most of the fast-developing world of digital farming,” he adds. “And they’ll get first access to the Agrii combine losses calculator tool our specialists have created to assess crop losses and identify their main causes for rapid combining adjustments to maximise harvesting efficiency.

“About the only thing we haven’t found a way of providing in this year’s programme are the barbecues and hog roasts over which we can all share current interests and concerns.  Our virtual programme does allow visitors to put questions to the specialists involved both for direct response and discussion at the follow-up live sessions and webinars we plan later in the summer.”
Open to growers registering at www.agrii.co.uk, the programme is being made available through a special on-line events hub allowing visitors to select their preferred site and the talks, tours  and information that most interest them.

Access will be available for an extended period to give the greatest possible flexibility for visitors to dip in and out of the events they wish to attend as time allows.

Personal invitations will be e-mailed to existing Agrii customers, while other growers can register their interest at www.agrii.co.uk

As well as our virtual summer events, we are making more general video updates and reports from our national and regional trials and demonstrations available to everyone as the season progresses through the iFarm pages of our website,” says Gary Rush. “These pages also provide details of the individual sites and trials underway on a handy interactive map.
“We hope our 2020 programme will ensure the market-leading agronomic R&D our team continues to provide is as widely accessible and useful as it can be in supporting growers despite the obvious limitations of coronavirus social distancing.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.