The CropTec Show will host a new series of Knowledge Hubs where visitors can listen to expert speakers review topics that are critical to the industry. Among these will be the Water Hub, sponsored by Anglian Water, which will discuss the latest in issues regarding both water quality and quantity, and the impact these will have on farming in the next five years.
“Anglian Water understand that both agriculture and the water industry are facing challenges, and we would like to know what would help make the difficult decisions that farmers may have to decide on around water quality issues easier for them,” comments Julie Jackson, Catchment Advisor at Anglian Water. “We are looking forward to discussing water quality and quantity and the impact that this may bring to agriculture and Anglian Water in the next five years.
“We have to look at food security as well as water security – each are so important to us all and we can’t have one without the other,” continues Julie. “Water is a precious commodity that is a necessity for us all, not only for drinking water but also for the crops that we grow for food. We only have to think about the long, dry summer this year, which had a huge impact on growing root crops and other vegetables. Cereals have fared slightly better, but primarily because plenty of sunshine helped fill the grain and ensured a dry harvest”.
The Water Hub will be hosted by Anglian Water’s Senior Agronomy Advisor Richard Reynolds and chaired by Jill Hewitt, Chief Executive of the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC). Richard and Jill will sit alongside professionals from academic and agricultural organisations during the debates at the hub.
Tim Farr, who is Vice Chairman of the Association of Drainage Authorities among many other advisory positions, will be discussing water quantity alongside Belinda Bailey, Sustainable Farming Manager for Syngenta, and Ian Gould, a Director of Oakbank Game and Conservation Ltd. This topic will be discussed further by Rob Burtonshaw, Nuffield Scholar and owner of Farm Services Ltd, Dr Simon Bowen head of knowledge exchange at British Beet Research Organisation and Ian Gould.
Debates on water quality will be headed up by equally esteemed experts. James Beamish, Director of Holkham Farming Company; Research Agronomist at Dyson Farming Tom Storr; and Alice Green the CLA Policy Advisor on Climate and Water will lead talks on the first day. Following this up, Dr Simon Bowen will be joined by Richard Bramley NFU Environment Forum Chair and Farmer and a speaker from the University of Cambridge Farm.
“Visitors to the hub will be encouraged to share the water-based challenges they are facing on farm, and what would make difficult decisions on their farm easier,” comments Julie. “We hope that farmers and industry professionals will find answers to their questions at the Water Hub and leave CropTec with the understanding that Anglian Water are here to listen and work together to protect this precious resource. We want visitors to enquire who their catchment advisor is and know how to contact us if they have an idea – big or small – that will help us all protect our water.”
The Water Hub can be found on the Anglian Water stand at CropTec, which will be held at the East of England Showground in Peterborough on 23 and 24th November. Free ticket registration and additional details about the 2022 Knowledge Hubs can be found at www.croptecshow.com.