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Crop plots at the Cereals site in Nottinghamshire are said to be looking good as the Thoresby Estate prepares to host the two-day event... Agronomists preview exhibitor plots at Cereals

• New and established crop varieties

• Showcase for wheat and barley

• Benefits of biostimulant fertilisers

Crop plots at the Cereals site in Nottinghamshire are said to be looking good as the Thoresby Estate prepares to host the two-day event on 13-14 June.

With 6ha of plots growing a wide range of crops, there will be plenty for visitors to see, says Cereals arable project manager Jonathan Backhouse.

“We had a kind autumn and good conditions for drilling. It was a kind winter up until the period after Christmas when we had some late frosts. Recent rainfall has been welcome on the sandy land here.”

Mark Carter, co-owner at BioNature, is exhibiting at Cereals for the second time. “Last year we had a real success and so much interest. This year we’ve raised our game and have trial plots of oilseed rape and wheat.”

Special nitrogen

“We are looking at where we use Delta – nitrogen in a special form which encourages rooting, tillering and stem strength. It is applied at T0, T1 and T2, saving extra passes. We can tell differences in evenness of wheat and branching of OSR already.”

KWS will showcase its ‘wheels’ of winter wheat, winter barley, spring wheat and spring barley at Cereals. New Recommended List spring wheat varieties Alicium and Harsum, and new RL spring malting barley variety, Curtis, will be on display.

“We had brilliant success last year at Cereals – it was the first time we were back after a break,” says KWS technical specialist Olivia Potter. It was really good for getting farmer contact and we are looking forward to that aspect this year.”

As well as cereals, there will be trials of sugar beet, including Conviso Smart, treated and untreated for weed control. KWS will exhibit a virus yellows tolerant beet variety and a pipeline variety tolerant to cercospora.

Resilient future

NIAB is demonstrating options to support more resilient future arable systems. Visitors can look at a diverse range of the UK’s under-utilised and novel crops that may become more popular over the next few years, says NIAB agronomy director Stuart Knight.

“With five herbal grazing ley mixtures alongside buckwheat, quinoa, grain maize, durum wheat, hybrid rye and triticale, growers have the option to view the crops above and below ground in the 20m long NIAB soil hole.”

Lee Bennett, managing director at RAGT Seeds, is a recent returnee to Cereals. “It promises to be a good show. We have a bit of everything. We have breeding plots with new and established varieties including Group One wheat varieties Skyfall and Illustrious and Group four Bairstow, and new two-row winter barley, Orcade.

“There are also plots containing barley yellow dwarf virus resistant and tolerant varieties. It is nice to see what’s out there and meet the competition. Cereals is a great networking event.”

Biostimulants

Farmers looking to get the most out of their fertiliser use have access to a new nitrogen efficiency optimiser, widely available across the UK and Ireland for the first time this year, says Corteva marketing manager Alex Nichols.

“BlueN is a biostimulant containing a naturally available bacteria that enables crops, including cereals, oilseed rape and maize to fix nitrogen from the air and make it available throughout the plant’s lifecycle. Farmers will be able to view crop plots treated with BlueN and talk to Corteva’s experts on the stand over both days.”

DSV is celebrating its 100th anniversary at Cereals and will be showcasing barley variety Sensation, which is resistant to BYDV and barley mosaic virus types one and two.

Cereals host farmer and Thoresby Estate partner Gregor Pierrepont says he is looking forward to the event. “I’m incredibly honoured and excited to play a part in Cereals, which has been a key part of the farming calendar for decades.”