Cereals is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and is set to offer visitors more technology and practical knowledge than ever before, demonstrating that farming is very much thriving in the UK.
Since 1977, the Cereals event has provided farmers with all the tools they need to make the best of their businesses and to deal with the multitude of challenges they face, says event director Jon Day. “The first event guide spoke of the need to assess what the market wants, growing to meet consumer needs, and effective marketing. In 40 years, the keys to success have not really changed, but a lot of the industry’s research and technology has.”
The event has always adapted to lead on the issues of the day, but its focus has remained the same – to add value to farming businesses, and help them improve productivity and profitability.
This year sees some exciting new and improved exhibits, with cutting edge technology rubbing shoulders with practical advice. Knowledge trails will make it easier for visitors to find the technical information and advice they’re looking for. These will focus on adding value and cutting costs, managing blackgrass, precision and efficiency, getting the most from oilseed rape, plus business planning and Brexit.
“We’ve also made the popular displays bigger and better than ever: The Soil Pit will now be 20m long, and The Drone Zone will include a huge cage for on-site displays with a nearby field hosting trial flights,” says Mr Day. The Specialist Crop Zone will explore how farmers can add value with niche crops, and Fields of the Future will offer a Tomorrow’s World style glimpse into emerging technology.
Of course, Cereals 2017 will still feature the ever-popular trial sites and machinery demonstrations, with the Arable Conference focusing on the hot topics of the day. There will be new equipment, new varieties, and fresh business advice, alongside favourite old features and familiar faces. And with advanced adult tickets only £20 and students £12, ticket prices offer excellent value for money.
Agriculture is changing, with all the threats and opportunities that brings. Yet the key message remains unchanged from the 1987 guide: “A day spent at Cereals could be one of the most cost-effective ways to spend your time this year, and you will reap the benefits this year and next.”