Arable News

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Technical excellence needed to remain competitive

CropTec offers visitors the chance to explore a wide range of novel science and innovative technology, in an informal atmosphere, say organisers.

The CropTec Show’s overriding theme of promoting technical excellence to help farmers drive down their unit costs of production will be at the fore of the event’s seminar programme this year, according to organisers.

The programme covers four key areas: crop establishment, crop nutrition, crop protection and crop breeding, examining some of the most important and promising science, research and technology that will help growers remain profitable in the years ahead.

Soil health, novel nutrients and biostimulants, crop protection post Brexit, biological control of diseases and pests, pest and weed resistance, and designing future wheats are just some of the key topics to be highlighted.

New for this year is a panel session including four well-known growers who will discuss different approaches to crop establishment, against the background of the past, very difficult season.

The CropTec Show’s development director Stephen Howe says: “This past year highlights the increasing unpredictability of the seasons and the challenges we all face in achieving those all-important yields and quality, to help us compete effectively in today’s dynamic global market.

“If that’s not difficult enough, UK farmers are also competing with increasing environmental constraints, political uncertainties at home and abroad and the big unknown that is Brexit.

“CropTec 2018, with the main seminar programme at its heart, will provide the ideal platform to help the arable sector plan for a secure long-term future, whatever our climate or politicians throw at them.”

Seminar programme

Setting the scene for profitability

Headline sponsor Corteva Agriscience’s UK country leader Adrian Gough, will give his perspective on the role manufacturers of crop protection products will play in helping UK farmers achieve profitable production in a volatile economic and political environment. 

Propects for the combinable crops sector

What might the future hold for UK farming following the publication of the Agriculture Bill, which outlines the government’s intentions for future domestic agricultural policy? 

Speaker: NFU chief combinable crops adviser, Jack Watts.

Crop Establishment – sponsored by Horsch and Certis UK

Session chair: AHDB strategic farmer, Brian Barker, Suffolk.

Measuring, managing and improving soil health

What makes a healthy soil? How do you measure it? How should you protect the soils under your care particularly in a challenging year?

Speaker: Rothamsted Research systems agronomist, Stephan Haefele.

Testing times for crop establishment: What might I do differently?

Given the uncertainties of the past difficult season for establishing both autumn and spring crops, and farming’s increasing environmental focus, what would our panel do differently to remain profitable?

Speakers’ panel to include: Rothamsted’s Stephan Haefele, Lincolnshire farmer Andrew Ward, Cambridgeshire farmer Russell McKenzie and Norfolk farmer Adrian Whitehead. 

Crop Nutrition – sponsored by Yara

Session chair: Yara agronomy and business development manager, Mark Tucker.

Managing potash and sulphur

These two vital nutrients are vital for profitable, sustainable crop production and require careful monitoring and management. 

Speaker: Yara arable agronomist for UK and Ireland, Natalie Wood.

Managing digestate: What is its true value and how to use it?

The drawbacks and benefits of digestate as a nutrient, including the need for careful analysis and integration into a farm’s nutrition programme.  

Speaker: ADAS Boxworth principal soil scientist, John Williams.

Biostimulants and their role in crop nutrition

How do biostimulants work and how can they perform to benefit crop production?

Speaker: Yara business development manager, Biostimulants, Antonis Angeletakis.

Crop Protection – sponsored by Nufarm

Session chair: NFU deputy president Guy Smith. 

Crop protection post Brexit

What does the future hold for the availability and use of crop protection products in the UK after next March?

Speaker: NFU senior regulatory affairs adviser, Chris Hartfield.

Biological solutions for disease and pest control

Biological products can help strengthen a plant’s resistance to disease and pests. How much benefit do they provide; are they value for money and what about public perception? 


Day 1: University of Newcastle head of Environmental Sciences School, Rob Edwards.

Day 2: Biorational director, Roma Gwynn.

Preventing weed and disease resistance

Understanding the science behind growing weed and disease resistance, with the help of the Smart Farm Project created to help slow resistance and prevent it developing.

Speaker: Smart Crop Protection Project weed biologist and leader, Paul Neve.

Crop Breeding – sponsored by InVigor

Session chair: Velcourt technical director, Keith Norman.

Shaping the Recommended List for the future

What works, what can be improved and how are growers and the industry helping to shape a Recommended List fit for the increasingly competitive market place?


Day 1: Senior AHDB Crop Production Systems scientist and RL lead, Jenna Watts.

Day 2: AHDB Crop Health and Protection scientist (diseases), Catherine Garman.

Designing future wheat

An update on the BBSRC-funded Designing Future Wheat Programme that aims to develop new wheat germplasm containing the next generation of key traits 

Speaker: NIAB director of genetics and breeding, Alison Bentley.

Traits in oilseed rape 

Speaker: BASF’s Adrian Cottey.


When: Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th November 2018 (8.30am–4.30pm)

Where: East of England Showground, Peterborough PE2 6XE

Entry cost: Register on website for free tickets in advance of the show

More info:

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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