The annual Agronomy Winter Roadshows hosted by AHDB, SRUC and FAS, will for the first time be delivered in a virtual format – though they will retain a regional focus.

Farmers will get the lowdown on the latest crop research during the free workshops being held in Scotland across January and February.

Each will focus on a different theme, including integrated pest management (IPM) planning and fungicide updates; crop selection and variety performance; business resilience and markets; soil health; and an update on the results of the trials being carried out at AHDB’s Strategic Potato Farm Scotland.

The programme has been developed to include regionally relevant speakers and discussions with stakeholders from across the industry in Scotland.

The themed workshops – which run from 10 am-1.30 pm each Wednesday, from January 13 to February 10 – will take place online. Each will commence with a technical webinar followed by a pre-recorded question and answer discussion with a range of speakers; and an interactive session looking at the theory in practice and discussing what is happening at different farms across Scotland in East Lothian, Fife, the Black Isle, Aberdeen, and Angus.

Chris Leslie, AHDB's knowledge exchange manager for arable in Scotland, said: “We have moved our popular Agronomy Roadshows online this year so we can still let farmers know about the latest crop research. As well as addressing some of the hot topics affecting their businesses, not just in Scotland but local to their region.

“We will provide information and thought-provoking conversations delivered via a range of speakers drawn from research, industry, and farming, to provide expertise from all areas of agriculture. I encourage anyone with an interest in arable farming to attend so they can benefit from the valuable and practical information that we will be sharing.”

Professor Fiona Burnett, of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), added: “Sustainability and profitability are the running themes of this series of workshops. In the technical lectures, and supporting group discussion and downloads, we will dive deep into IPM practices, technical inputs, and markets suited to Scotland, and hear from growers about the opportunities to pick these up in practice.

“The sessions will cover the launch of a new planning tool to let growers track their IPM practices, and span-new asks around soil health, effective fungicides and resilient varieties that support both key markets and more sustainable practices.”

The programme:

January 13 – IPM planning and fungicide updates

January 20 – Crop selection and variety performance

January 27 – Business resilience and markets

February 3 – Soil health

February 10 – Strategic Potato Farm Scotland results.