New-look seminars help farmers prepare for change at Cereals 2018
Agriculture is facing unprecedented change. Brexit, restrictions on chemical usage, and accelerating scientific innovation all make for uncertain times. However, with revolution comes opportunity, so how can farmers ensure the best possible outcome for their business?
“At such an unpredictable time for the industry, it’s essential that farmers stay up to date with the latest ideas and advice,” says Jon Day, event director at Cereals 2018. “No-one really knows what lies ahead but this year’s Cereals Event will really help to put the challenges and opportunities into perspective and explore what the industry can do to ensure we’re as prepared as possible.”
Of course, Cereals 2018 is all about change, so the Arable Conference will benefit from a fresh look at this year’s event. It is splitting into two, enabling visitors to choose between lively debates with industry leaders or getting up to speed with the latest technical arable research.
Cereals Controversial – fronted by a panel of politicians and leading industry officials – will see some of the hottest topics in the arable industry up for discussion. Business resilience and demonstrating environmental and socially responsible activities are just some of themes set to be discussed by some of the most influential people in UK agriculture.
Cereals Conversations will be a hub for knowledge exchange, taking a more technical approach and providing cutting-edge research and advice for farmers and growers. Industry experts from across the sector will be on hand, arming growers with knowledge on everything from using data to drive decision making to emerging weed control strategies.
This year’s content partner, AHDB, will be both hosting seminars in both the Conversations and Controversial marquees, with several speakers taking their seat in sessions across the two days.
Here are some examples of the speakers and topics that will be covered over the two days.
Fit for the future: The debate – 9:30am (13 June)
Kicking off proceedings in the Cereals Controversial marquee is Fit for the Future: The Debate, hosted by Cereals content partner, AHDB. This debate will bring together politicians and industry experts – including Michael Gove and Sir Peter Kendall, chair of AHDB – to discuss what the future of the supply chain will look like with no subsidies.
How resilient is your business – 11:00am (13 June)
Resilience in the face of uncertainty is something all businesses need, and no more so than those in agriculture. David Eudall, market intelligence partnerships manager at AHDB and Jeremy Moody Secretary to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers will join financial experts and host famer Robert Law in discussing how arable farmers can build resilience into their businesses.
The crops of the future – 1:00pm (13 June)
The first afternoon session will include AHDB’s consumer insights manager Steven Evans and Premium Crops’ managing director Andrew Probert. The panel will consider whether farmers should be looking to grow a more diverse range of crops – given the changing climate and subsidy landscape – as well as looking at what insights the industry has on what consumers want.
Fit for the future: Survival of the fittest – 10:30am (14 June)
Day two of the event will begin with another panel discussion featuring AHDB experts chaired by Martin Grantley-Smith, cereals and oilseeds strategy director. The theme of this debate will be around increasing farm business productivity and benchmarking to measure success.
A farm without machinery? 2:00pm (14 June)
With increasing costs of owning and running large machinery, this debate will look at alternative options including machinery sharing, contracting, hire and finance. It will also explore the impact of artificial intelligence and how we can run tractors more efficiently. Speakers are set to include Mark Suthern, national head of agriculture at Barclays, Kit Franklin from Harper Adams University and Gloucestershire farmer Richard Ward.