I did enjoy Cereals, even if a week later I still haven’t recovered from the combination of late nights and early mornings that it involves. I like looking at plots, at science and at machinery, but what I really like about Cereals is the chance to meet people, and I had fun running round finding friends and colleagues old and new.
It was great to catch up with lots of people I’d met before. It was also great to see some for the first time, including occasional Farm Business contributor Colin Ley. I’ve worked with Colin in various roles for at least a dozen years and never actually clapped eyes on him, until I found myself standing next to him at the NFU briefing.
There was also stuff (and, yes, I always know how to find it) to be cynical about. I still don’t believe the number of people there are supposedly going to be on the planet in 2050 makes much difference to the bottom lines of many farm businesses in 2014. There was a real buzz about technology at Cereals, but there’s a long way to go to get UK consumer support for the use of some technologies in agriculture. Don’t forget that people, by which I mean people who aren’t involved in farming, want all use of agricultural chemicals and new technologies carefully controlled. It isn’t just about the EU imposing outrageous regulations, for all some people like to paint it that way. Farming has to work with public support.