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More than 600 crop plots from 25 exhibitors will give visitors to Cereals access to the latest in crop breeding, protection, nutrition and science... Largest ever agronomy zone for Cereals 2024

More than 600 crop plots from 25 exhibitors will give visitors to Cereals access to the latest in crop breeding, protection, nutrition and science at the two-day show on 11-12 June in Hertfordshire.

“The plots are looking well,” says Will Davies, farming consultant at Ceres Rural, who has overseen their management. “The site has coped well with a challenging growing period, which is a credit to site manager Jonathan Backhouse, NIAB’s Shawn Coleman and our host farmers Alex Farr and Edward Wainright Lee.

“The plots will allow visitors to see first-hand varieties, nutrition, biological products and inputs, as well as new innovations and niche crops. And there are more exhibitors than ever – it’s a great opportunity to see all they have to offer in one place.”

Agronomists from Ceres Rural guide visitors though the event’s winter wheat and barley plots, as well as offering independent, says Mr Davies.”


Putting plant science into practice, NIAB will be featuring over 20 different crop species across its 11 crop plot features.

“Cereals is a great opportunity to share the breadth of our research and practical farm innovations with growers and agronomists,” says NIAB’s head of communications, Ros Lloyd.

On the agenda will be the winter wheat and barley variety choice feature, with 32 listed and candidate varieties. And the 20m-long, 2m-deep soil hole will demonstrate the science behind regenerative agriculture.

Cropping options in the face of climatic pressures will also be demonstrated in NIAB’s bi-cropping and protein crop features – including lupins, peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas – as well as a wheat blends and novel crop showcase.

As well as regen ag, NIAB’s showcase will address fungicide and nitrogen strategies – the latter exploring how alternative fertilisers, biostimulants, and biological products can help reduce soil-applied nitrogen.

Diseases will also be addressed, with the latest on septoria as well as brown and yellow rust, and how natural diversity can improve disease resistance against disease like fusarium foot-rot.


Having had its biggest autumn for launching new varieties, Senova is focusing its spotlight on what’s coming in the winter wheat and barley market.

Taking a top spot on Senova’s plots is the breeder’s group three winter wheat newcomer, Almara. Recommended for the northern region, where it has given its best yield performance, it is also suitable for distilling, and meets biscuit quality requirements for both the domestic and export markets.

Three new hard feed winter wheat candidates will also be on offer – Riley, Rufus and Memphis – all high yielding (105 to 106% treated – UK).

Barley growers can see winter feed barley candidates Organa and Kitty. “Organa is a BYDV-tolerant two-row – there are currently no BYDV-tolerant two-rows on the market,” says managing director, Tom Yewbrey.

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF)

Six plots of Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) options will be on display – representing an opportunity for visitors to explore how they might be included on their own farms, says senior CSF officer Mark Taylor.

The six plots feature a number of popular SFI options including herbal ley; pollen and nectar flower mix; autumn-sown legume fallow; spring-sown legume fallow; spring-sown bird mix; and a spring-sown cover crop.

“We’ve got 23 SFI options available,” says Mr Taylor. “This summer, Defra is launching a further 100 options, of which a spring cover crop is very likely one of them.”

The SFI offering is applicable, practical, and realistic – and generating interest, but Mr Taylor’s key message is that the SFI will continue to evolve.


With more growers looking to reduce artificial inputs like fertilisers and chemicals, the biostimulant manufacturer AminoA will once focus its plots on high health, low input.

Oilseed rape (Ambassador), tricticale (Fido), and winter wheat (Typhoon) plots will showcase how amino acid biostimulants can improve soil microbiology, plant health, productivity, and nitrogen efficiency.

Nitrogen strategy plots will include crops treated with three nitrogen application rates – no artificial fertiliser, 70kg/ha of soil-applied urea and 150kg/ha of soil-applied urea, each treated with a 100% natural L-a amino acid and nutrient biostimulant.

Side-by-side, the plots will show the potential for artificial nitrogen reduction. “The plots are showing very little difference between the crops that received 70kg of artificial fertiliser and 150kg,” says AminoA managing director Richard Phillips.


KWS will be showcasing four new winter wheat candidates and three new winter barley candidates, plus new technologies in sugar beet breeding.

Selected from the plant breeder’s 10-strong winter wheat candidate list, KWS Vibe, KWS Arnie, KWS Solitaire, and KWS Mongoose will be representing groups one through to four, respectively. KWS Solitaire will put confidence back in the group three market with its Cougar-free parentage and respectable septoria score.

For bold yields, KWS Arnie will pique interest as the first KWS Extase cross, while KWS Mongoose offers the group four market the perfect combination of specific weight, yield, and orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM) resistance.

The breeder’s two-row winter barley candidates – KWS Heraclis and KWS Valencis, and six-row hybrid candidate KWS Inys – offer step-changes in their respective fields. “KWS Inys is our first entry into the hybrid barley game, and in NL2 trials it was the highest yielding,” explains Olivia Potter, technical manager for conventional cereals.

The breeder will also have a sugar beet offering, with a new cercospora-tolerant variety, Chyma KWS.  “Listed by the British Beet Research Organisation, Chyma KWS has a good all-round disease package and a high yield (101% of controls),” says sugar beet agroservice manager Martin Brown.