CropTec Show ‘Crop Establishment Seminar’ Preview – Arable Farming – Matt Ward

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Cost-effective crop establishment, a key aspect of this seminar, is critical to farmers' future profits, says session chairman Will Gemmill, regional executive and head of farming, Strutt & Parker.

“How farmers manage their soils and find more innovative ways of keeping them healthy while capturing carbon emissions will be critical in the future," he says.

“In addition, reducing chemical solutions coupled with a desire to continue making efficiencies on fixed costs means finding innovative solutions to soil management becomes more important."

Profiting from tough decisions - making every hectare count: Andrew Pitts, Northamptonshire, farmer and consultant.

Following the suspension of Parliament, the Agriculture Bill of 2018, which is set to phase out direct payments over the next nine years, will have to begin its passage through Parliament again. That delay may be welcome, but its sentiments remain; namely, the proposal to link any future support to improvements in soil health, air and water quality, alongside other measures to help reduce the impact of climate change.

The question for farmers is how should they challenge, manage and adapt to those vague proposals? For many it could mean some tough decisions, as our experienced farmer explains.


Rooting for profit provided by cover crops: Dr Sarah De Baets, lecturer plant-soil systems, Cranfield University.

Cover crops have an important role to play in maintaining healthy soils – any farm's most important asset. This presentation looks at the latest findings and recommendations from Cranfield's BBSRC-funded project, which considers the impact of different cover crop rooting systems on various soil properties including structure, porosity and nutrient availability.

Trials this season will look at a range of species best suited to reducing soil resource losses and enhancing crop growth.


Crop establishment – it pays to be precise: Matt Ward, agronomist and services leader, advisory and agronomy business, Farmacy.

Precision drilling of cereals using variable seed rates, based on soil type and previous yield data, can improve crop yield and quality; optimise seed utilisation and boost profitability on every suitable hectare. There are a number of systems available, but how do you go about selecting the best for your farm?


Seminar times:

Day one – 3.20pm - 4.30pm

Day two – 9.30am - 10.40am