Key arable issues under spotlight in CropTec’s Knowledge Hubs

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Some of the most topical subjects in the arable sector will come under the spotlight when the popular Knowledge Hubs return to this year’s CropTec Show.

This series of quickfire presentations has become a firm favourite with showgoers seeking key takeaway messages to help make the most of new techniques and technologies.

Six hubs will feature on both days of CropTec 2019 when it returns to the East of England Showground, Peterborough, on 27th and 28th November.

The diverse range of topics includes the role of biosolutions in crop protection, latest advice on blackgrass control, optimising OSR establishment, slug behaviour and control, management strategies to boost soil health and the latest spray application technology.

The hubs will be delivered by a mixture of well-respected farmers with a wealth of practical experience in their particular fields and industry specialists who are leading development with new ideas.

CropTec development director Stephen Howe said: “Together with the event’s extensive seminar programme, the Knowledge Hubs provide an ideal backdrop and catalyst for more detailed discussion throughout the day on the technical stands or in the refreshment areas as delegates seek the latest solutions to remaining profitable during a period of change.”

Biosolutions Hub – sponsored by UPL

As growers face an ever tightening regulatory climate and the loss of further key active ingredients, this hub aims to address the role that biosolutions can play in the future of crop protection.

Sessions include an overview of the requirements for biostimulants within the new Fertilising Products Regulation (FPR), and the benefits of biostimulant-based seed treatments in the establishment of arable crops.

Speakers include Murray Smedley and Trevor Smith of the European Biostimulants Industry Council Task Force, Tomas McCabe of University College Dublin and UPL’s Rob Adamson and Gregory Hanna.

Black-grass Hub – sponsored by Bayer

Visitors to the hub will have the opportunity to talk to Bayer experts on their own black-grass control methods, whilst gaining advice and information on ways to effectively deal with grass weeds, focusing on integrated control measures to reduce weed seed return.

Sessions include understanding the black-grass seedbank with NIAB’s John Cussans, one of two experts supporting Bayer’s Black-grass Task Force project that aims to translate trials success commercial black-grass control.

Farm manager Paul Drinkwater, one of two farmers taking part in the above project, will talk about tackling a serious black-grass problem in Cambridgeshire, where he is looking to develop a strategy to make running his farm more economically viable.

OSR Specialist Hub – sponsored by Dekalb

With flea beetles and the climate proving problematic for many again this season, this hub sets out to help growers respond to these challenges.

Variety choice and sowing practice for the best establishment are the key factors distinguishing growers achieving higher-than-average OSR yields.

Speakers include ADAS’ Pete Berry on day one who will share the results of last season’s Oilseeds YEN, identifying the most fruitful areas for sustaining and improving performance to emerge from the first three years of the competition.

McGregor Farms’ arable manager and YEN grower, David Fuller, will take over on the second day, outlining how best to maintain consistent crop performance and profitability.

DEKALB will also have a leading team of breeders and technical specialists on hand to discuss more ways to optimise OSR establishment.

Slug Hub – sponsored by Certis

Understanding slug behaviour and the available cultural and chemical approaches is key to managing slugs this autumn. Utilising over 10 years of experience and technical expertise, the Certis Slug Hub at CropTec 2019 will encompass everything from slug behaviour to pellet application.

In this new hub, Certis’ Neil Beadle and Newcastle University’s Gordon Port will discuss recurring questions revolving around the pest’s ecology and the most effective cultural and chemical means of management in arable rotations.

Keith Walters of Harper Adams University will examine environmentally sustainable and commercially viable control of slugs, including the effectiveness and risk of patch treatment based on slug population density.

In a talk looking at calibration and application, Certis’ Laurence Power will highlight some common issues and difficulties that arise with pellet application and how best to avoid them.

Soil Hub – sponsored by BASE and Direct Driller magazine

For visitors seeking information and discussions on alternative soil management, this new CropTec hub is a must-attend event.

The team at BASE UK (Biodiversity, Agriculture, Soil and Environment) along with Direct Driller Magazine will be providing advice for visitors and will be discussing key strategies to help improve soil health.

First day topics include the benefits of livestock in the arable rotation, with Cambridgeshire farmer and no-till specialist David White, BASE chairman and Northumberland farmer Edwin Taylor and Northamptonshire grower Stephen Goodwin.

Steve Townsend and James Warne of Soil First Farming, together with Edwin Taylor, will also examine cover crop strategies.

On the second day, Stephen Goodwin, David White and Suffolk grower Adam Driver will discuss widening the crop rotation.

Spraying technology hub – sponsored by Syngenta

This year’s hub will give growers and sprayer operators an insight into some of the latest advances in application technology, along with advice and tips to get the best out of every treatment.

Presentations will address challenging topics, including how to optimise balancing efficacy, efficiency and environmental impact.

The hub will also focus on research to extend the utilisation of 90% drift-reduction nozzle technology beyond pre-emergence applications, and look at future technology for application, including advice apps and sprayer innovation such as pulse width modulation.

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