IT'S a very different landscape for the talking shops that are an integral part of the Cereals event – this year, because of Covid-19, they are going to be web-based.

This essential part of the event will be hosted in various 'tents' within the on-line platform set up for Cereals LIVE and these can be accessed once you registered prior to the event.

Here's a full list of the varied topics that you can dial into from your laptop or computer.

The Cereals 2020 live webinars:

Wednesday, June 10

AHDB theatre sessions:


Getting more from less

Chaired by Karl Schneider, Farmers Weekly

With resistance to pesticides increasingly compromising control, this session explores new strategies to get ‘more from less’ in managing weeds, pests and disease.

• AHDB’s Paul Neve will look at smarter solutions for next generation crop protection and IPM in the arable rotation.

• NIAB's Bill Clark will view that it’s time to ditch those high yielding ‘disease-prone’ varieties. A fungicide armoury that can no longer tackle resistance alongside a potential reduction of £60/ha in fungicide costs makes the case for choosing varieties that are more disease-hardy compelling.

• John Hawkins, Dorset farmer, has adopted a low input regenerative farming approach which, alongside a water quality trial, is delivering significant economic and environmental benefits.

• Lise Jorgensen, Aarhus University, provides an overview of Danish farming experiences in cutting back on pesticides


Delivering natural capital

Chaired by Cath Crowther, CLA Eastern regional director

Farmers can play a key role in managing ecosystem services for society; from carbon sequestration to flood risk management, air and water quality. There’s an emerging market for natural capital. This session explores how farmers can tap into the opportunity.

• Emily Norton, Savills will talk about understanding what you have by accounting for 'Natural Capital', which is key to supporting the recognition and reward that is needed for ‘good farming’

• Professor David Hill, Environment Bank, aims to explore practical and effective compensation solutions for regenerating biodiversity for landowners and farmers.

• Guy Thompson, Entrade, will review opportunities for farmers in water, nitrates and carbon trading and sequestration funding.

• Ben Wills will outline Beeswax Farming’s natural capital strategy to reduce its carbon footprint and carbon sequestration


New era, new challenges, new opportunities

Chaired by Jane King, AHDB

What impact will Covid-19 and Brexit have now and in the future for UK farmers, food security and global trade?

• Victoria Prentis, Defra parliamentary under secretary of state, will provide an update on the government's plans and support for Coronavirus – and where Brexit negotiations currently stand

• Prof Tim Benton, Chatham House, aims to explore how food security has taken on a new imperative in light of the global pandemic and some countries moving towards food protectionism

• Minette Batters, NFU President, will review the opportunities and challenges for UK arable farmers presented by the current situation

• Dr Ludivine Petetin, from Cardiff University, reviews how coronavirus and Brexit are impacting and informing the UK's food security and trading position


Adapting to ELMS

Chaired by Martin Grantley-Smith, AHDB’s director of Cereals and Oilseeds

The government’s Agriculture Bill places environment and other public benefits at the heart of any new support (ELMS) for UK farmers. This session explores how arable businesses can, or are, adjusting to the new opportunities.

• James LePage, Defra, will spell out ELMS, providing an update and guidance on government plans and environmental incentives for farmers

• George Badger, Strutt and Parker, will 'rethink' the arable rotation and explore how environmental management can be used to benefit farming operations and finances.

• Nick Bruce-White, RSPB, says biodiversity pays and explains how profitable farming can go hand in hand with wildlife-friendly practices.

• Fiona Tweedie, ADAS, and Stephen Siddorn, Percy Farms, describe the experience of being part of one of Defra’s tests and trials for ELMS.


Non-chemical solutions

Chaired by Tom Allen-Stevens, CPM

With the pesticide armoury available to UK arable growers shrinking fast due to regulation or resistance, this session explores other cost-effective solutions to tackle weeds, pests and disease.

• Dr Roma Gwynn, BioRationale, will explore the potential of biopesticides, such as insect-killing bacteria, in tackling pests and diseases on UK arable farms.

• Dr Rachel Wells, John Innes Centre, aims to provide an insight into how breeding for genetic resistance to cabbage stem flea beetle could provide the answer that growers are looking for.

• Dr Samantha Cook, behavioural ecologist at Rothamsted Research, will consider how natural enemies like parasitic wasps, as well as trap crops and colour diversity, could help combat pests.

• John Cussans, NIAB, will tackle blackgrass control options.

• Katie Bliss, Agricology, joins the Q and A session

Young Farmers and sustainability theatre sessions:


Soils: The heart of a sustainable system

Chaired by Caroline Drummond, LEAF

This session explores ways to improve soil health – key to creating a resilient economically and environmentally sustainable farming system

• Clive Bailye, TWB Farms, Staffordshire, was the inaugural Soil Farmer of the Year in 2016, and will discuss how he is using cover cropping, zero tillage and rotational diversity to improve soil fertility.

•Tom Chapman, Innovation4Agriculture, aims to review the soil health benefits and practicalities of introducing animals into systems.

•Julian Gold will put controlled traffic farming and minimal tillage at the heart of his strategy to prioritise soil health on his 750ha farm.

•Sam Walker will share his organic farming best practice to improve soil health on his organic beef and arable farmer at Stantyway Farm, Offerton.


Routes into farming

Chaired by Milly Fyfe

Covid-19, the phasing out of the basic payment and Brexit will result in a massive restructure of the industry, opening up new challenges but also new opportunities for forward-thinking farmers.

• Jeremy Moody, CAAV, will examine the issues, including housing and tenancy reforms, and where government needs to provide direction and support

• Delyth Jones, Venture, will explore the opportunity that share farming and other options can provide young entrants.

• Dan Frost talks about his journey as an engineer and teacher's son with no family farming background, to securing a 90-acre arable tenancy with Peterborough County Council.

• Matt Redman started a contracting business five years ago, which not only enabled him to build a high-tech machinery fleet but also take on a 1000-acre arable tenancy in Cambs.


Skills for the future

Chaired by Tom Bradshaw, NFU vice-president

This session explores what skills are needed to stay on top of new technologies and business opportunities, as well as how to improve your own personal influence and performance.

• Beverly Dixon, chair of the CPD work stream on Agricultural and Horticultural Skills Leadership Group (SLG) and group HR director at G’s, will explore what new skills farmers need to deliver the highest professional standards and adapt to new technology.

• Oliver McEntyre, Barclays, will talk through making yourself more employable and marketable.

•Simon Gadd heads up the NFU’s Next Generation board and will address upskilling to focus on profitability, performance and productivity.

•David Goodwin, Costow Farms, will talk about the important role that YFs can play in influencing the industry beyond their own farm gate.


Succession planning

Chaired by Mike Holland, Agricultural Law Association

Succession planning is typically a very difficult subject for farming families to broach. This session draws on the experience of those who have done this and independent experts that are used to supporting businesses through this very important transition.

• Ally Hunter Blair, an arable farmer, will address the 'elephant in the room' – succession planning, which is often the hardest conversation for YFs to broach with their families.

• Becky Miles will provide an independent perspective. She's a trained family farm facilitator in managing farm business change and succession.

• Jane Hill, Saffery Champness, aims to show how to avoid tax pitfalls, navigating the issues around inheritance and capital gains tax which are important to get right in succession planning.

• David Fursdon, Fursdon Estate, Devon, will provide a personal insight on attracting a ‘young succession’ from outside the family

Thursday, June 11

Graintab grain exchange sessions:


New specialist crop markets

Chaired by Matt Culley, NFU Crops Board

Consumer interest in different grains, healthy proteins and green energy is opening up new cropping opportunities. This session explores some of the options currently available and new ones being explored.

• Andrew Probert, Premium Crops, will review the economic and rotational value of specialist crops such as lupins, linseed, canary seed and millet.

• Skye Van Heyzen, Agrii, will give a glimpse of some new species, the benefits to arable rotations and efforts to get them to market.

• Kevin Lindegaard, Crops4Energy, will talk about the market opportunities that willow, poplar, straw and other residues afford arable farmers in the form of biomass energy generation.

• Sophie Alexander, Organic Arable chair, has run both conventional and organic arable production side by side but has now moved the whole farm to organics to capitalise on higher margins.


Budgeting and risk management

Chaired by Miles Bradley, Cambridge FX

This session explores way to optimise the value of your production by ensuring you meet buyers’ specifications, understand the small print of your contracts and manage risk.

• Cecilia Pryce, Openfield, will review the common pitfalls in the T and C’s of your contract and common compliance issues.

• James Bolesworth, CRM Commodities, aims to explore options and other marketing tools as a way to protect against price fluctuations and manage grain storage more efficiently.

• Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn, Lycetts, explores how crop insurance can protect farmers against volatile weather and other natural events.

• James Rendell, BirdsEyeView, talks about the future of crop insurance by using aerial intelligence and cutting-edge technology to provide bespoke cover for farmers.


The arable market outlook

Chaired by Paul Temple, AHDB

The speakers will bring the latest insights and market outlooks for the international, domestic and emerging crop markets.

• Amy Reynolds, IGC International agricultural economist, will provide an insight into the international market – the challenges and opportunities.

• David Eudall, AHDB, will look at the domestic market in the light of the consequences of coronavirus and Brexit negotiations.

• Jack Watts, NFU Agrifood policy manager, will provide an overview on proteins, alternative crops and emerging markets.

• Martin Farrow, ADM Erith, will review the global and domestic market for oilseed rape.

Young Farmers sustainability theatre session:


Climate change

Chaired by Jonathan Scurlock, NFU

This session explores what steps are needed to achieve net zero carbon emissions on arable farms and how to tackle the climate change impacts already being felt on farms.

• John Tucker, Woodland Trust, will explore tree tactics and how planting trees can help tackle climate change, increase soil health, reduce inputs and mitigate flooding.

• Hugh Taylor, Roadnight Taylor, will talk about harnessing flexible small-scale generation of renewable energies to generate power where it is needed most and create a low carbon future.

• Professor Jenni Dungait, a soil health expert, will provide advice on restoring soil structure, health and fertility to mitigate the impacts of climate change on soils.

• Professor Dick Godwin, Harper Adams University, aims to provide advice on smart drainage solutions to tackle increasing rainfall intensity and seasonal variations in UK farmland.

• Steve Penfield, John Innes Centre, will look at how can farmers adapt cropping, variety choice and management to mitigate the effects of changing temperatures and rainfall events.

DIT innovation and tech theatre sessions


Plant breeding innovations

Chaired by Anthony John, Department of International Trade

This session explores the opportunity that plant breeding techniques such as gene editing and sequencing, alongside increasing collaboration between researchers and industry, offer in creating crops and varieties that are much fitter for a future that aims to be low in carbon and pesticide usage.

• Kim Hammond-Kosack, Rothamsted, will reveal a bold new resilient world in which breeding technologies will deliver resistance to aphids, take-all, septoria and slugs in the future.

• James Brosnan, chair of the International Barley Hub, will address the big issues of resilience and climate change, talks about the innovations coming barley’s way.

• Cristobal Uauy will give an insight into CRISPR gene editing technology and how it can be used to produce new varieties with benefits to farming and the environment.

• Rob Hiles, Syngenta, will looks at the potential benefits of hybrid wheats, which are close to becoming a commercial reality.


Sustainable crop health

Chaired by Christopher Horne, Department of International Trade

This session explores the new technologies in crop disease and fertiliser management including smart tools, new products and techniques.

• Dr Chris Hartfield, NFU, will introduce NFU’s Plant Health Strategy

• Fraser Black, CHAP, will provide an update on Crop Pro, a smart support decision tool, which matches local growth stage to pest and disease risks – and provides spray window forecasts using bespoke weather monitoring.

• Professor Fiona Burnett, from SRUC, will explore sustainable solutions and research into sustainable disease control.

• Chris Gamble, Olmix, will look at the benefits of biostimulants and how they can be a routine part of the crop health armoury.

• Natalie Wood, Yara, will provide evidence-based nutrient decision making to get more from your soils and crops.

• Angela de Manzanos Guinot will introduce Fungi Alert, a new soil health sensor that identifies what pathogens are present in the soil.


Digital and data innovation

Chaired by Dr Anthony John, Department of International Trade

This session explores the latest innovations in digital and data – and how farmers can access the value that lies in disruptive technologies.

• Matthew Smith, Agrimetrics, will discuss getting the most from data by addressing trust and the data market.

• Luke Halsey, Farm 491, will review who is doing what in software inter-operability, data aggregation and AI, and how it will impact on UK arable farms.

• John Redhead, UK Centre of Ecology and Hydrology, will reveal a new web-based biodiversity app to help identify which parts of your farm are best used for woodland, pollinators or wildlife

• Jack Wrangham, Drone Ag, will talk about Skippy Scout, a smartphone-based app which enables farmers to fly a drone to points in a field and get accurate green area index (GAI), emerging plant counts and spot weeds and insect damage.


Precision farming technologies

Chaired by Hadyn Craig, Department of International Trade

This session explores the current and new technologies that might be available to assist arable farmers to target pests, diseases and weeds more efficiently.

• Jonathan Gill, HAU, will present on the Hands Free Hectare project's 35-acre 'farm' where automated machines are growing arable crops remotely without operators in the driving seat or agronomists on the ground.

• Sam Watson Jones, Small Robot Company, will give an insight on farmbots Tom, Dick and Harry, which plant, feed and weed arable crops autonomously with minimal waste.

• Harry Coppin, Garfords, will look at the benefits and practicalities of mechanical weeding in arable rotations

• Nick Tillett, Tillett and Hague Technology, will look at the practicalities and benefits of spot spraying and band spraying

• Brian Gorham, MagGrow, aims to talk about how magnetic spraying technology is enabling farmers to cut drift and make more precise spray applications.


Precision farming application

Chaired by Christopher Horne, Department of International Trade

Precision farming technologies haven’t been as widely adopted as many hoped. This session explores the practicalities, limitations and future role of the technologies on arable farming businesses

• Shamal Mohammed, AgriEPI Centre, will give a precision vision - what works, what doesn’t and what’s coming down the line for arable farmers.

• Michael Haverty, Andersons, will look at the financial and operational impacts of precision farming techniques have on the company’s loam model farm

• Professor James Lowenberg-DeBoer, HAU, will discuss the financial and practical considerations of investing in crop robots

• David Blacker, farming in Yorkshire, will provide unique insights on precision farming technology working on his arable farming business

• Wrap-up by Dr Elizabeth Warham (DIT)


YF Zoom forum

What's on your mind? Join in our interactive video call with George Baxter and Tom Pope, Cambridgeshire YFC and talk about current challenges and opportunities. Speakers will include Suzy Deeley, RABI, looking at how the charity can help farmers with practical support and financial grants.

Farmer Joe Stanley, trustee of the Henry Plumb Foundation, will talk about what support it can offer and how mentorship can help farmers to drive businesses forward.

Tilling the land is just one important slice of a very large job opportunity pie in food and farming. Hear the stories of individuals who have made careers in everything from journalism to farm work and science. Take a look at the live jobs board to find the right career for you.

• Charlotte Smith, BBC Farming Today, presents a career in rural journalism

• George Baxter, Hutchinsons, explores a career as an agronomist

• Georgina Sweeting, Savills, is a farm consultant with an insight to land agency

• Catherine Vickery, Old Mill, says agricultural accountancy isn’t just about maths

• Henry Robinson, farm worker of the year 2019, gives an insight into farm work and management

• Edward Worts, Kuhn, reveals what it’s like to be an agricultural engineer

• Kelly Jowett, Rothamsted Research, explains the world of a research scientist

• Lana Mo, Blue Skies, offers an insight into working for an international food business

DIT Innovation and Tech Theatre

Farmer-led innovations:

Many of the best innovations come from farmers – and there’s a move to fund more farmer-led research by Defra. This session will explore the inventions, research and new answers emerging from farmer-led innovation.

• Mike Donovan, editor of Practical Farm Ideas, has been a torch bearer for the ethos of farmer ingenuity. He picks his top five farmer inventions.

• Liz Bowles, Soil Association, describes the impact of the work in their Innovative Farmers’ field labs – from compost teas to improving utilisation of ADD and oilseed rape defoliation.

• Daniel Kindred, ADAS, summarises the key impacts for farmers emerging from a number of its farming innovation groups.

• William Macalpine, Rothamsted Research, discusses FarmInn, a joint venture with AHDB on farm-inspired research

• Ben Rayner, Defra, explains three possible schemes which might be introduced from 2022: Industry led R&D syndicates, innovation accelerators and themed collaborative R&D

BASIS and NRoSO points: Collect up to 6 BASIS points by visiting key seminars and exhibitors; NRoSO points will also be available.