Soil health and regenerative techniques to take centre stage in this year’s CropTec Show seminars

With growers in the midst of a tumultuous time in British farming, this year’s CropTec Show seminar programme will examine the building blocks for a sustainable arable farming future.

CropTec’s acclaimed seminar programme returns for 2021 with a focus on four key technical areas of arable farming, including crop protection and crop nutrition, alongside a renewed focus on soil health and adopting regenerative techniques on-farm.

Based on feedback and extensive research with farmers, this year’s seminar sessions have been designed to help growers address some of the challenges facing arable farmers and advisers as they navigate the biggest agricultural transition since the post-war era.

An exciting new development for 2021 is the introduction of a ‘Lunchtime Debate’ focused on regenerative agriculture and sponsored by Horsch.

Chaired by Harry Farnsworth, Control Union UK sustainable agriculture projects lead, this exclusive debate will welcome three forward-thinking farmers farming on different soil types. They will share their first-hand experience of utilising regenerative techniques on their farms and address the question: does regenerative agriculture really stack up?

Improvements to soil health are a key focus of the Government’s new Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme and in this year’s CropTec soil health seminar Dr Elizabeth Stockdale, head of farming systems at NIAB, and Thomas Gent, founder of Gentle Farming, will examine what a healthy soil system looks like and provide advice on how best to explore the new agri-environment financial support on offer.

Helping farmers to minimise their cost of production has underpinned CropTec since the show’s launch in 2013, with nitrogen fertiliser use a key consideration in the economic and environmental performance of an arable business.

This year’s crop nutrition seminar, which sees Yara return as sponsor, will look at the latest techniques to improve Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) and will also provide growers with an insight into exciting new developments in organomineral fertilisers and their potential value within crop nutrition programmes and achieving net zero.

In recent years, EU regulation has resulted in the loss of a number of key crop protection active ingredients, but with Great Britain in the process of transitioning to an independent regulatory regime for pesticides, pesticide policy experts Dr Chris Hartfield, NFU’s senior regulatory affairs adviser and Hazel Doonan, head of agronomy and crop protection sector at the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), will shine a much-needed light on the threats and opportunities faced by growers and advisers in a new era for crop protection.

Session chair Dr Hartfield said: “This session will help to highlight the opportunities. The big question is: is Government going to grasp these to create a better, more holistic and science led crop protection approach, which supports innovation, provides solutions and enables competitive agricultural production?”

UPL and Unium Bioscience are set to support the seminar programme.

Pointing to this year as a ‘golden opportunity’ to experience seminar content, Gareth Jones, CropTec events manager said: “Although the pandemic initially had a detrimental effect on exhibitions, it has also given the CropTec team an opportunity to breathe new life into the event.

“With this re-vamped seminar programme, brand new knowledge hubs and a diverse exhibitor list, we aim to provide growers, agronomists, business consultants and suppliers with unique insights into how to build sustainable and profitable businesses.”

The CropTec Show will be held in accordance with the latest UK Government and Public Health England recommendations regarding Covid-secure business-to-business trade exhibitions.  The CropTec team want to ensure that all visitors and exhibitors feel comfortable whilst attending the show. Rest assured, show management is working closely with the East of England Showground and the exhibitions industry to ensure the latest advice and best practice is being followed.

To find out more and register for this year’s event, visit: www.croptecshow.com.

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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.