The CropTec Show 2017

Business and agronomy developments at The CropTec Show

Farmers and agronomists increasingly need to seek out the latest information and innovative methods to improve efficiency and reduce unit costs of production.

With Brexit set to bring further challenges to the already uncertain world of arable farming, The CropTec Show provides the perfect venue to help growers find the information they need.

Here we take a look at a key business initiative being hosted by CropTec official partner, AHDB, and some of the important agronomy developments on show across the trade stands at the event.

Getting in shape for Brexit

AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds is issuing a call to action at CropTec to help farming businesses shape up for Brexit, featuring market analysts, benchmarking experts and technical information on the stand.

This follows the publication of two hard-hitting pieces of analysis on the cereals industry, published by AHDB in June and October.

The first, Post-Brexit prospects for UK grains, identified several challenges the industry would have to overcome, including strong price competition from lower-cost producers, supplying grain of the right grade and specification and substitution of maize for other feed grains.

One of the report’s key recommendations was for the industry to adopt a strong-minded commercial and collaborative approach to tackle the challenges.

This message was borne out by the second report, Brexit scenarios: an impact assessment, which modelled the impact of three post-Brexit policy scenarios on farm business income (FBI).

Results for the cereals sector showed drops in FBI under all three scenarios, with one causing cereals farms to become loss-making.

But high-performing farms, the current top 25% on an input-to-output basis, remained profitable under every scenario. AHDB says farmers can learn from this group and use it as a benchmark for what can be achieved.

Jack Watts, AHDB Lead Analyst, will provide the opening address on both event days.

Smarter fertilisers

Levity CropScience says it is set to reveal industry-changing research at CropTec. The company specialises in creating smart fertilisers that increase the growth, quality, resilience and yield of potatoes, soft fruit; top fruit, protected crops and leafy vegetable crops.

The research will highlight and demonstrate in detail how Levity CropScience products have increased potato yields by at least €1000/ha in farms across Europe, says the company. The results will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Among the key products from BioNatureUK is the Delta range of liquid fertilisers. These supply nitrogen in a stabilised amine (NH2) form, minimising degradation by bacteria, enabling nutrients to be taken up directly by plant leaves and roots.

The company claims Delta-treated plants produce more of the plant hormone cytokinin, promoting stronger growth and improving disease resistance and productive potential.

ICL is showing its range of controlled release fertilisers (CRF), which the company says could play a key part in controlling the leaching of nitrates into surface water.

The products also significantly increase the efficiency of nutrient use, improving crop yield and quality, says the company.

Fertiliser granules have a semi-permeable coating called E-Max that controls the release of the fertiliser. This works in conjunction with soil temperature and moisture content, with more fertiliser being made available as the soil warms up.


CropTec headline sponsor Adama is emphasising the need for greater precision in wheat fungicide programmes to keep on top of Septoria.

Fungicides are now largely protectant in nature so growers need to avoid getting into a curative situation, says the company. That costs money and can increase resistance pressure on the wheat grower’s dwindling chemical armoury.

Adama will stress the importance of using a multisite like folpet early in the fungicide programme, coupled with more precisely timed applications, to keep all leaf layers clean, including leaf 2 which can be left vulnerable when the T1-T2 interval is stretched.

Biostimulants – partners in crop health

Interest in plant health is fast gaining momentum, as growers and agronomists look for alternative products to enhance existing crop protection methods, says Arysta LifeScience.

The company is sponsoring the Biostimulant Hub at The CropTec Show, which will show how these compounds foster plant health throughout the life-cycle, acting as a complementary addition to crop nutrition and crop protection products.

Rooter is among the products showcased by Arysta LifeScience. This biostimulant contains seaweed extract GA142, which unlocks nutrients in the soil which may otherwise be unavailable to the plant, while stimulating the enzymes that enhance plant root growth.

Trials have shown that Rooter increases root weight by up to 40% in a range of crops. In oilseed rape, for example, this can improve the plant’s resilience against drought stress and flea beetle damage, says the company.

Soya – a growing opportunity

Visitors to Soya UK’s stand can learn about the benefits of growing soya in the UK. The UK area is expected to increase four-fold in 2018 to around 8000ha, says the company.

Reasons include black-grass control, attractive gross margins, the neonicotinoid ban (and subsequent problems with flea beetle) reducing the attractiveness of other break crops and the fact that soya is a good nitrogen-fixing break crop that makes a good entry for wheat, says the company.

Soil biology

Information on a range of soil bacteria and fungi, including an award-winning range of mycorrhizal fungi, are available on soil biology company Symbio’s stand.

The company has developed products that can be applied to seeds or as a soil drench to ensure crops benefit from natural microbiological processes in the soil. These include improved nutrient recycling and disease resistance, better water uptake and enhanced soil friability.

Black-grass – the latest thinking

The latest thinking on black-grass control features at CropTec. Bayer is sponsoring the Black-grass Hub, hosting a series of seminars with specialists from inside and outside Bayer to provide the freshest perspectives.

From herbicides and application technology through to cultivation and crop choice, there is a team of experts available offering support with black-grass decisions.

Oilseed rape risk management

Reducing the risk of winter oilseed rape establishment, management and crop marketing risks is a key priority for growers across the country.

Dekalb is sponsoring an Oilseed Rape Quality and Weed Management Hub, designed to provide CropTec visitors with the best insight into securing these valuable risk-reducing opportunities by making the most of the Clearfield system, bringing together the latest understanding of the system and the practical benefits.

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