Almost25,000 people attended this years sun-drenched Cereals event to catch up withthe latest technical advances, machinery innovations and business advice.
CAPgreening measures, black-grass and grain prices were key talking points at theevent, which took place at Chrishall Grange, near Duxford, Cambridgeshire onthe 11th and 12th June. Despite these potentially bearish factors the mood waslargely upbeat. Hundreds of crops plots across the showground reflected thepotential across most of the country after a difficult season disease wise,the feeling was that most crops looked to be set fair for harvest.
JonDay, Haymarkets Cereals event director, said the 500 companies andorganisations exhibiting at the event had provided a wealth of information andexpert advice for the 24,950 farmers, agronomists and other professionals whoattended the show.
Thefeedback from visitors and exhibitors alike has been excellent, said Mr Day.The arable sector is second to none when it comes to innovation, and there wasplenty on show at Cereals, whether that be improvements in cultivating,drilling and harvesting techniques, novel spraying systems, or the latestprecision farming developments along with increasingly powerful record keepingsystems.
Inaddition, there was plenty of advice on offer to aid business management. CAPgreening was a key focus, but production costs, rents and managing thevolatility of grain and inputs markets were also highlighted in detail.
Cerealshad also developed into a leading conference venue, giving audiences the chanceto hear and discuss a range of topical issues with those in the know, he said.This was very evident this year in the first Arable Conference at Cerealssession, partnered by The Oxford Farming Conference, which saw DEFRA secretaryOwen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairsoutlining and discussing the CAP greening measures that DEFRA had released justprior to the event.
Thefact he used Cereals as a platform to discuss these measures face to face withfarmers and the press shows how important a diary date Cereals has become toall who are involved in the sector, extending its reach to the highestpolitical circles.
AllanWilkinson, head of agriculture at HSBC Bank, Cereals 2014 principal sponsor, agreed.OwenPaterson brought considerable explanation and quite a personal touch to theevent while he enthusiastically explained the rationale as he saw it for therules behind the announcement on Ecological Focus Areas for England asannounced the day before.
Hissumming up with the phrase ‘Thunderbirds are go!’ not only showed hispositivity about the way forward given the constraints of CAP 2015 onwards, butalso his determination to help. Now the serious work begins for each and everyfarmer.
Cereals2014 was a truly professional event, he added. I was delighted with theprofessional image generated to allow farmers to be informed, to be inspiredand to network in the glorious weather.
Theattraction and interest that Cereals now generates is exactly why HSBCAgriculture values its position as Principal Sponsor of one of UK Agriculture’skey events in the calendar.
The winners of the inauguralInternational Machinery Manufacturers Awards (IMMA), were revealed on theevening of the opening day of Cereals. These new machinery Oscars launched by Cereals organiser HaymarketExhibitions recognise companies that have produced machines that stand out fromthe crowd by delivering a mix of innovation, cost-effectiveness and value.
The winners were: Cultivationequipment Cousins of Emneths surface seedbed cultivator.; sprayers Garfords Robocrop weed-imaging spot sprayer; tractors JohnDeeres Direct Drive transmission; harvest machinery McHales Fusion 3Plus baler-wrapper.
Another successful new feature for Cereals 2014 wasthe Inspire Pavilion, which was sponsored by McDonalds, Massey Ferguson and DeLacy Executive. This was very well received by the younger audience futurefarmers and industry employees who were informed of the vast and variedopportunities within the agricultural industry.
Morefamiliar Cereals features returned, including hundreds of crops plots to illustrate the wealth of agronomic developments onshow. Other specialist areas included machinery, working demonstrations,post-harvest technology, business area, potatoes, renewables, careers andeducation and the Syngenta Sprays and Sprayers arena, which showcased thelatest spraying technology and equipment.
Tina Barsby, chief executive of NIAB, said the eventwas superb as always. Well done to the Cereals team were always delightedwith the visitor numbers on our stand, which wed increased in size this year tocope with demand.
And it was definitely worthwhile with some greatfeedback on all our plots, particularly varieties, blackgrass and diseasemanagement, and superwheat. Cereals remains a key event on our calendar.
HGCA Chairman Jonathan Tipples said staff had beenkept very busy by a strong turnout by visitors to the stand, which includedscores of variety plots and a host of innovative crop management projects.”Cereals is the ‘must go to’ event in the arable calendar, both as agrower and as HGCA Chairman,” he said. “I’m also a great believer inmoving the event around the country, and this year’s site was great both interms of its location and its accessibility.”
Cereals 2014 was the UK debut of JCBsmuch-anticipated Fastrac 4000 Series. The machine was very well received, aswas the stand in general, said marketing manager Richard Foxley. The show waswell organised, the atmosphere was very positive and we saw plenty ofprofessional British farmers and contractors, he added.
Charles Blessley, Case IH Marketing Manager for UK andIreland, said: As always, Cereals provided Case IH with a very goodopportunity to showcase our products to the right people. We liked the newlocation and there was a great upbeat atmosphere which wasnt entirely downto the excellent weather!
Elsomsdirector Bob Miles reported keen interest in energy crops on the stand, notablyhybrid rye SU Drive. As well as being a good feedstock, there was interest fromgrowers looking to overcome resistant blackgrass as ensiling it for this marketprevented seed return. We also had plenty of interest in catch crops andseveral new products on show – we had a very good event.
RAGTSeeds reported its busiest Cereals event ever. We were rushed off our feet thefirst day, said marketing manager Sarah Middleton. Growers were keen to seeSkyfall, our new high-yielding breadmaker many had bought it on itsreputation alone and were seeing it for the first time at the event. Cougarsdisease resistance also attracted plenty of attention after the season wevehad.
Cereals2015 will be held on the 10th and 11th June at BoothbyGraffoe, Lincolnshire.