Researchers, agronomists and technical specialists will be on hand to give visitors an unrivalled opportunity to catch up on the latest science and update their technical expertise.
“The practical way in which this information is relayed has proved to be a very popular draw,” says event director Jon Day. “It’s a key reason why Cereals has become the UK’s leading arable event. Visitors can get close to the latest work and quiz the people behind it to find out what key developments might be in the pipeline.”
NIAB TAG is demonstrating research, breeding and agronomy to help farmers achieve the genetic potential of their wheat crops. Yields in trials are increasing by about 1t/ha per decade but farm yields plateaued 10-15 years ago, says technical director Bill Clark.
“Wheat yield is strongly governed by rainfall and sunshine during grain filling,” he explains. “But decisions on agronomic inputs, variety choice, crop management and cultivations can also have a large impact on yield and margins.”
Soil health is another key focus on the NIAB stand, especially pertinent after the deluge last summer and autumn. The Hole Story will show how farmers can influence soil structure for optimum yields. In addition, NIAB Innovation Farm plots will demonstrate a cross-section of innovative industry and scientific solutions to help use crops to combat food security and climate change.
Thirteen areas of research are featured in the HGCA plots this year – covering around 30 individual research projects representing over £28m in collaborative investment.
One key area is the performance of fungicides against diseases of oilseed rape, wheat and barley in the light of new introductions and changes in the activity of existing products.
Another topic is mycotoxin management, highlighting several studies to improve the understanding of this problem, including better models to improve prediction of fusarium head blight.
Blackgrass control also comes under the spotlight, including alternative chemistry to ALS inhibitors as well as cultural options, such as delayed drilling, seed rates and weed-suppressing varieties.
Other areas of research being showcased include phosphate management, plant-based lubricants, integrated disease management for oilseed rape and enhancing soil productivity.
Velcourt is hosting a fascinating mix of innovation. A key topic is “genetic light harvesting” for wheat, which demonstrates (non-GM) work carried out at the John Innes Centre to introduce a wild wheat trait into commercial lines to re-arrange the leaf wax.
Also on show is a new mutant oilseed rape type with a modified oil profile, which is showing great promise as a hydraulic oil and could attract good premiums.
Other themes include new high-yielding hybrid wheats, Yara’s N-Sensor working across four OSR plant populations, assessing SDHI fungicides on wheat and the Cereals Challenge plots.
Rothamsted Research and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council are joining forces with the John Innes Centre at Cereals 2013. One plot will demonstrate how wheat adapts to different climates using wheats from around the world and how science will help develop better varieties for a changing UK climate.
Another plot will demonstrate the benefits of oilseed and brassica margins to on-farm biodiversity and biocontrol in other crops (wheat).
AICC is using Cereals 2013 to review the practice and implications of stubble burning to help control resistant blackgrass, slugs and reduce disease pressure.
Two winter wheat and two oilseed rape plots were sown with resistant black-grass and subsequently treated with post-emergence herbicides. The effects of burning will be demonstrated on one plot of each crop.
Visitors will be able to assess the effect of thousand grain weight (TGW) on seed size and optimum plant population on Limagrain’s stand, important given the increasingly lengthy autumn drilling windows that many arable businesses face.
Limagrain is also examining non-chemical control of soil-borne pests and diseases using biofumigation.
Fungicide performance, notably of the latest SDHI products, comes under scrutiny on the Syngenta stand. The company will explain the advantages of a preventive rather than curative approach to disease control on winter wheat and barley using the company’s long-lasting isopyrazam-based fungicides.
Winter wheat and barley growers expecting blackgrass challenges this autumn will also be able to learn more about pre-emergence herbicide stacking.
Bayer’s fungicide plots will showcase the SDHI + azole treatment, Aviator Xpro in winter wheat, which has proved effective over two very different seasons.
Visitors will also be able to get a first look at new pre- and post-emergence grass and broad-leaved weed herbicides in the Bayer CropScience pipeline.
The importance of a rotational approach to tackling weeds in combinable crops will be a key feature of the Dow AgroSciences stand.
The British Beet Research Organisation is demonstrating beet growing and management from cultivations through to storage.