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Efficient and profitable cereal production will top the agenda during a special panel discussion on the Seed to Shelf stage at this year’s Cereals... The big debate: Is efficiency king?

Efficient and profitable cereal production will top the agenda during a special panel discussion on the Seed to Shelf stage at this year’s Cereals event.

With plateaued yields and volatility around crop inputs and outputs, it’s seldom been more essential for farmers to operate efficiently, says Edwin van Leeuwen, head of product development at data experts Yagro.

“Efficiency is about taking real control over what is within your grasp – and operating with minimum wastage in time and money to make the most out of every hectare you have,” explains Mr van Leeuwen.

“Efficient arable production acts as a safety net and profit-driver for your business. It can play a role in reducing risks posed by external factors like volatile markets by providing you with the best possible gross margin.


“You might not be able to control the markets or the weather, but you can control how tight you keep your operation. Everything from purchasing to selling, inputs to outputs, overheads to variables… can all reveal opportunities.”

Yagro produces a range of tools to help growers continually optimise and refine their practices – helping to ensure farm-based decisions are well-informed and working towards maximum efficiency.

Challenges and opportunities around efficiency were the subject of a recent episode of Yagro’s Best in Field podcast, which featured Suffolk farmer and Claydon strip-till drill manufacturer Jeff Claydon.

“We wanted a platform to cover the topic in more depth, which is what we’ll be doing with Jeff on the Seed-to-Shelf Stage,” says Mr van Leeuwen.

Optimising inputs

“We will be discussing the relevance of optimising aspects like rates and timings – and the efficiency gains possible – as well as explaining how hardware and software can drive efficiency for modern arable enterprises.”

Also taking part in the Efficiency is King session will be farmer Harry Middleditch of DF Middleditch & Son, who won Yagro’s Best in Field Award for winter oats. “It’s not always about cutting costs, it’s about optimising them,” he says.

A representative from FMEC, which offers digital solutions for farm businesses, will also be on hand.

This talk will highlight ways farmers can get more out of production, without necessarily putting more in.

A Q&A session will give audience members the opportunity to quiz the experts to provide a space for airing conversation between machinery manufacturer, software solutions and the farmers who will benefit from what they have to offer.

Throughout the event, Yagro’s team of farm-data experts will be demonstrating the Yagro Platform, explaining how the software is helping farmers understand their arable operations in greater detail and achieve greater returns.

Greater returns

“Whether it’s using field-level data to support decisions around land allocation or displaying a feature to help monitor in-season spend, our team will be approachable and willing to talk around the individual needs of each visitor,” says Mr van Leeuwen.

The interaction between input prices, rates and efficacy – and their impact on profitability are highlighted in Yagro’s 2024 Chemical & Fertiliser Review, which will be launched at Cereals. It includes budgeting advice and crop-level gross margins.

The panel discussion takes place at 1.30-2.30pm on the Seed to Shelf stage at Cereals. Yagro is exhibiting on stand 505-04.