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Three specialist Knowledge Hubs at this year’s CropTec event will offer visitors a deeper dive into the arable sector’s most pertinent subjects. Farmers will... Knowledge hubs are ‘great opportunity for farmers’

Three specialist Knowledge Hubs at this year’s CropTec event will offer visitors a deeper dive into the arable sector’s most pertinent subjects.

Farmers will be offered unique insight and understanding of water, technology and smart farming at the two-day show, which is being held at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre in Stoneleigh Park on 29-30 November.

CropTec event director Verity Hyland said: “The Knowledge Hubs organised by our sponsors and partners are a great opportunity for farmers to get an in-depth understanding of these key issues and to come away with practical information and advice on next steps.”

She added: “CropTec continues to deliver amazing opportunities for knowledge exchange for the arable sector. As before, CPD points will be available for BASIS and NRoSO members who just need to register their attendance at the appropriate stands to claim.”

Catchment advisors

Anglian Water is inviting farmers and agronomists to visit its Water Hub to learn about support available from its eight catchment advisors. Experts will be on hand to answer questions during two panel discussions held at 11.45am and 1.15pm on both days.

Lincolnshire catchment advisor Julie Jackson said she was looking forward to meeting as many farmers as possible. “We have a brilliant line-up for our panel discussions with experienced farmers, agronomists, scientists, seed breeders and policy experts bringing different perspectives.”

The panel will include Guy Smith, whose farm at St Osyth in Essex is believed to be the driest in the country; Lincolnshire growers Andrew Ward and Andrew Laughton; contractor and farmer Martin Williams, AH Worth farm manager Simon Day and Tim Harper of Blankney Estates.

Other panellists will include Alice Cannon (Farmacy), Pam Chambers (British Sugar); Ron Granger (Limagrain); Professor Tim Hess (Cranfield University); and Kelly Hewson-Fisher (Savills).

Discussion chair

The panel discussion will be chaired by Jill Hewitt, chief executive of the National Association of Agricultural Contractors.She said: “The team is looking forward to an exploration of the issues and how we can work with farmers to find a way forward.”

Agri-technology start-up funders Innovate UK will showcase the successes of its £90m Transforming Food Production programme, which has been running for the last five years – and look ahead at innovation funding available for the future.

Programme deputy challenge director Tom Jenkins said: “We’ll be covering two exciting areas at CropTec. Innovate UK works closely with Defra and delivers their Farming Innovation Programme, and the opportunities available will form one area of focus.

“Secondly, a new programme was launched this year called BridgeAI. We will be exploring how artificial intelligence is being used within the agricultural industry and raising awareness of the opportunities for the sector through the BridgeAI programme.”

The Defra-funded Farming Innovation Programme aims to bring benefits to farmers by increasing productivity, sustainability and resilience on their farms. More information will available from Defra at the event.

Smart-farming hub

A smart-farming hub will be hosted on the UPL stand. Visitors will discover more about the Natural Plant Protection (NPP) range of biosolutions, allowing farmers to reduce reliance on traditional chemical pesticides without compromising efficacy or yield.

Looking ahead to spring agronomy programmes, bio-fungicides Thiopron (sulphur) and Iodus (laminarin) will feature prominently. Agronomists will be available to explain how to best use them in combination with conventional chemistry for cost-effective disease control.

Part of UPL’s OpenAg Network, NPP offers growers a comprehensive portfolio of biosolutions with naturally derived agricultural inputs. “Together with our impressive programme in the seminar theatre and busy exhibition halls,

“We are very excited to be not only be exhibiting but also sponsoring a hub at CropTec this year and sharing information with the industry. Sustainable farming is here to stay and UPL is delighted to be part of it,” said the company’s Bertha Spangenberg.

For further details and for tickets, visit