A revamped conference programme at Cereals 2015 will provide growers with key information on some of the hottest topics in the arable sector while allowing them more time to explore the event.
Recognising that many visitors are pressed for time, the technical seminars have a new format. Each session will consist of an intensive 20-minute presentation from a leading expert followed by a 10-minute question and answer session.
Cereals event director Jon Day says: “The condensed seminars will last no more than 30 minutes each but will be packed with advice, while giving growers a chance to put their own questions to the experts.
“The new format will allow visitors to pick up as much information as before from the seminars but in a shorter time, so they can spend more of their day visiting the trade stands, crop plots and working demonstrations.”
Topics to be covered include the Yield Enhancement Network’s role in maximizing yield potential; the loss of active ingredients; no-till establishment and the role of data in agriculture to enhance performance and increase returns.
Visitors can also hear about blackgrass control; the role of cover crops; preserving soil organic matter and effective OSR pest management.
The talks will be interspersed with sessions hosted by The Arable Conference at Cereals, partnered by The Oxford Farming Conference. Three debates headlined by industry-leading farmers, scientists, policymakers and environmentalists take place over the two days, with plenty of opportunity for the audience to have their say.
Subject matter includes GM and the potential of novel and non-food crops; where resistant varieties will come from (and whether the sector can rely on the Recommended List) and the role of precision farming in achieving yield potential.
Al Brooks, 2016 Oxford Farming Conference chairman, says: “The line-up of panelists and speakers is outstanding, as is the range of topics being covered.
“We have speakers from around the world joining the panel sessions; and with GM and the reliability of the Recommended Lists being debated, we’re certain to create some animated discussion – something we never shy away from at the Oxford Farming Conference.”
Principal sponsor HSBC will hold a series of open forums on its stand, including a question and answer session with DEFRA minister George Eustice on Wednesday and a prominent MP on Thursday, both of whom will be joined by NFU president Meurig Raymond.
The first day will also include a session with Jack Bobo, senior adviser for agricultural policy, US Department of State, a world authority on biosciences and GM technology.
The Q&A session is open to anyone who would like to listen to and join in some lively debate, says Allan Wilkinson, head of food and agriculture at HSBC. “We look forward to welcoming the minister and Meurig Raymond to our official opening and Q&A forum on Wednesday morning.
“There is plenty to talk about, including setting the scene for what the newly formed government sees as its priorities, TIFF and the trade gap, as well as wider matters like the government’s response to bovine TB.”
Recently introduced Cereals initiatives that proved popular in 2014 return to this year’s event. The CPD trail offers the biggest choice of points yet, reflecting the wide range of technical excellence on show.
A total of 12 exhibitors are offering BASIS points and eight are offering NRoSO points. BASIS members can claim six CPD points per day – two for attending the event and four from the exhibitor knowledge trail. NRoSO members can claim six points for the whole event – two points for visiting and a further four from the trail.
The Inspire Pavilion, sponsored by De Lacy Executive, Massey Ferguson and McDonald’s, highlights the wealth of career opportunities for young people in farming and associated industries.
It offers a packed schedule of activities, including inspirational stories from young people already working in the fast-moving, progressive world of modern agriculture.
A key discussion point at Cereals will be the winning machines in the International Machinery Manufacturers’ Awards, a scheme launched last year to recognise machines that deliver exceptional innovation, effectiveness and value.
There are four categories covering cultivations, harvest machinery, sprayers and tractors. Winners and runners up will be announced on the first day of Cereals and the machinery can be seen on stand 606.
Other familiar Cereals features return, including:
• Crop plots – an opportunity to see the latest varieties and agronomy in the flesh across 5.5ha of plots.
• Machinery – most leading manufacturers will be represented, offering the perfect shop window for new kit.
• Working demonstrations – cultivations, drills and guidance systems being put through their paces.
• Sprays & Sprayers – innovations and application technology plus over 50 of the latest sprayers in action in Syngenta’s Sprays and Sprayers arena.
• Renewables – showcasing the wide range of opportunities available from renewable energy, renewable fuels and other non-food crops.
• Post-harvest technology – the place to re-assess drying and storage needs to maintain crops in the best condition.
• Business area – expert information from rural consultants, banks, and the IT sector to help drive business profitability.
Cereals 2015 takes place on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th June, at Boothby Graffoe, Lincolnshire.
Tickets are available at www.cerealsevent.co.uk/Content/Tickets and cost £24 per adult and £20 per student, including VAT. Group discounts are available for advance bookings. E-tickets can be printed out at home and brought on the day to be scanned at the entrance.
Further information at www.cerealsevent.co.uk