Cereals: The Arable Event


Stand 919

Adding value and managing costs is central to AHDB. Find out how to shine a spotlight on your business using benchmarking tools and learn how farmers have already used benchmarking tools to make fully costed business decisions.

The Expert: Tim Isaac – Head of Knowledge Exchange, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds

Tim IsaacTim grew up on a small livestock farm, but after studying Agricultural Business Management at Wye College, he embarked on a career as an arable business consultant and agricultural valuer. Over the next twenty years, he became a specialist advisor on the management of arable farms, contracting arrangements and joint ventures. He joined AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds in 2013 with responsibility for developing the Monitor Farm programme in East Anglia. Building on this success, he was appointed Head of Knowledge Exchange in 2016.

Arable Conference 

Stand 824

The arable conference is the centre for industry-leading debates, panel discussions and technical seminars.  Here is a shortlist of those that look at adding value and/or managing costs:

Wednesday 13:15 Turning data & technology into farm profit

Wednesday 15:15 Is arable production sustainable without livestock

Wednesday 15:55 Agroforestry to improve your land productivity

Thursday 11:45 Is intercropping the future?

Thursday 12:45 Crop nutrition – balancing input costs and yield

Thursday 14:00 Black-grass – taking a different approach

Find out more


Stand 834

See examples of other sources of income generated within the business and how these contribute to net profit. Undergo Sensitivity Analysis – Ellacotts will help you enter your data onto this software and see on screen how changes to prices and yields effect the management profit.

Discuss bespoke tax solutions to ensure businesses retain as much of the extra income generated and keep this within the business.  Make commercial business decisions that reduce significant capital taxes down to a 10% rate of tax. Find out how to maximising Inheritance Tax reliefs that are available by creating robust situations that should qualify for either Agricultural Property Relief or Business Property Relief.

Review pre-year end planning opportunities to maximise all available tax reliefs and reduce where possible any tax payments due. Discuss with our Independent Financial Adviser who can advise on investment returns and how to maximise available pension drawdowns, in certain circumstances with no further tax to pay.

The Experts: John Thame and Steve Gardner

John ThameJohn Thame heads up the agriculture and property team at Ellacotts, looking after a wide range of farmers, estates, landowners and agri-businesses. As with most our team, he comes from a farming background and is very aware of the issues facing the sector. He joined the firm in 1991 and is well known in farming circles for his practical advice. Experienced in all aspects of accounting and tax, John specialises in taxation and business consulting in the areas of succession planning and diversification opportunities. He spends a great deal of time advising family farming businesses how to restructure, this quite often including significant changes in asset ownership. A member of the British Institute of Agriculture Consultants, he regularly gives talks on strategic and tax planning opportunities for farmers and estates. John is a member of the CLA Northamptonshire Committee and is dedicated to improving farming businesses. He also recently stepped down as the Chairman of the Agricultural Committee for the UK200 Group.

Steve GardnerSteve Gardner joined Ellacotts in 2012 having previously worked for a national firm of agricultural specialist accountants. Steve looks after a range of farmers and other agricultural businesses and has over 37 years’ experience in this sector. He has been preparing agricultural gross margin accounts since the early 1990’s and has developed these into a very helpful management tool for Ellacotts clients.

Steve can benchmark your business against our Harvest survey results and show how changes to prices, yields and costs can affect your profits.

Farmplan (Proagrica)

Stand 325

Showcasing the different features and benefits of the Farmplan platform/service and how we are able to connect the farmer to other key elements of the supply chain. This includes demonstrating how easy it is to carry out crop management and recording and how this removes the piles of paperwork involved due to automation of the process and migration onto a digital platform.

The Experts: Charley White and Adam Josling

Charley WhiteCharley White is a software trainer for the Farmplan Gatekeeper programme with a background in precision farming data and technologies. She assists customers in the development of data management practices for effective and efficient monitoring, and is particularly interested in spatial field performance analysis and the use of precision technologies to reduce administrative burdens.



Adam JoslingAdam Josling is the Training Team Leader for Farmplan Support & Training department and is very experienced with all components of Farmplan Gatekeeper & also FACTS qualified.  He leads delivery on data management services for Farmplan customers, helping them to make the most of their Precision Farming data and has practical experience of integrating Gatekeeper with in-cab controller devices.

Based in Suffolk, Adam delivers on-farm and remote advice, training & best use assessments on Gatekeeper across the UK but mainly focussed in the Eastern Counties, the South East and East Midlands.

Fera Science

Stand 643

Spore trap technology - showcasing the latest smart surveillance techniques for assessing disease risk in cereal crops.

  • UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology - high resolution, multispectral image capture and analysis, how it can help you identify crop stress and provide 3D mapping for your land.
  • Insect Monitoring - the latest field data from around the UK and information on pest management in light of the earlier identification of aphids this year.
  • Nematode testing - learn more from our Senior Nematologist who will be available to answer your questions concerning the noticeable rise in cereal specific nematodes.
  • Pollinator Health - science experts in pollinator health with the right biological expertise to understand the practices and policies that can impact pollinators in a positive way. 
Our biodiversity services can help with sustainable farming practices which have pollinator health in mind, such as pollinator resource provision, habitat management, identification, monitoring and stewardship.
  • Demo at Cereals: An in-depth look into the damage caused to crops by Plant-Parasatic Nematodes (PPNs) - estimated to be around £48 billion per year worldwide. As an industry are we missing the extent of the damage, which is often attributed to other factors such as poor soil, nutritional deficiencies, drought or disease infection.

The Experts: Neil Boonham, Detection and Surveillance Technologies and Tom Prior, Nematode Identification and Consultancy Advice for your Crops

Neil Boonham

Neil has a background in plant virology and molecular biology and in recent years has focused on the application of post-genomic technologies to enable rapid decision making in the agri-food supply chain. This includes the development of field and automated technologies to provide end users with data enabling them to make timely and effective management decisions. In addition the use of next generation sequencing for detection and characterisation of the causal agents of disease and virus discovery through to investigating the impact microbial communities have in modulating disease symptoms and severity.

Tom Prior

After graduating with honours from the University of Leeds, Tom studied nematode taxonomy at Fera, CABI Bioscience, the Royal Belgian Natural History Museum and Rothamsted Research. He joined the Nematology team at Fera in 2000 and is currently responsible for the identification of plant-parasitic nematodes intercepted by the PHSI for Defra and for the UK's largest plant clinic, providing advice on nematode biology, pathogenicity and effective crop management to a wide range of commercial growers and overseas governments. Tom has led international projects and training courses, and provided training in nematode detection and identification as part of European Twinning initiatives. Tom is currently the UK representative on the EPPO Panel for Diagnostics in Nematology, the EPPO working group for Meloidogyne mali and a member of the IPPC working groups for X. americanum s. l. and Anguina.


Stand 445

A range of ‘Dynamic Wheats’ will be the topic of choice on the KWS stand. The team will be available to discuss how farmers can add value to business through appropriate variety selection of quality wheats (nabim Group 1s, 2s, 3s) along with maintaining a balance of high yielding barn fillers. 

The Expert: John Miles

John MilesSon of a Hampshire farm manager, from the age of 13 John spent most school holidays lambing or working in the field so it was a logical step to move on to study Agriculture and Crops. Attending Harper Adams helped hone his interest in agronomy and after graduating he joined KWS as a breeding assistant.

John then moved into the trials department to become a trails officer and then field operations manager in charge of inputs.

For over 5 years now John has brought his technical skills into the commercial department where he’s responsible for large scale commercial trials and communicating best growing practices across to the trade, consultant agronomists and farmers in everything from technical literature to open days and on to the press. 

Landmark Systems

Stand 821

At a time of major changes in UK Agriculture with Brexit, good business planning and control is paramount.  Landmark Systems provide a complete range of software and seminars to assist the farming and diversified farm business.  Of special interest to our visitors will be:

Geofolia our PC or Cloud based integrated mapping and cropping solution designed to assist with profitable crop production and controlling growing costs.

KEYPrime our management accounting and budgeting software is designed to maintain accounts statutory and management records with simple operation.

On the stand will be our team of software and agricultural experts who currently look after approximately 3000 sites across the UK , ready to discuss requirements and suggestions from visitors to the stand.

The Expert: Keith Morris

Keith MorrisKeith grew up in rural Oxfordshire and started out working in and around farms and on the local estate before moving on to study at what was then known as the Royal Agricultural College. Having finished his studies Keith returned to working on the local estate before moving into agricultural machinery sales. He first worked as an estate administrator in Kent, where he came into contact with Landmark’s range of accountancy and management software in the late 90s and experienced the training and service the company offers. Keith relocated to Berkshire to take up another more challenging estate administration role and was keen to ensure that the estate made use of the software that he had come to know and enjoy using.

Initially Keith's role was both sales and training at Landmark and he especially enjoyed working with larger estates and businesses to optimise software for their individual needs. Since joining the company it has greatly expanded its user base as well as having grown into a larger team and Keith is now Sales Manager, responsible for a dynamic team located throughout the UK and one which continues to grow as the company expand further, working closely with new French partners, Isagri. 


Stand 620

NIAB TAG will be providing the latest advice and research in independent agronomy, crop genetics and data science with a focus on future developments and the role of technology, including:

  • Variety demonstration plots - providing expert advice on winter wheat variety choice for 2017 with thirty established and new varieties plus 15 winter oilseed rape varieties with information on variety choice for spring oilseed rape, linseed, peas and beans.
  • Innovation in new fungicide chemistry, new strategies and the role of SDHIs alongside the future role of EU legislation post-Brexit. Compare wheat fungicide programme options in the plots and understand the value of resistant varieties
  • Improving skills development in the arable sectors - transferring the latest innovations and developments in crop research, knowledge and legislation into practice on farm with a range of practical and online courses

NIAB TAG membership services including the latest crop production advice and farmer-led research, field days, agronomy trials results, unique regional variety information and weekly agronomy updates through the season

The Experts:

Providing expert advice on winter wheat variety choice for 2017/18 with 30 established and new varieties plus 15 winter oilseed rape varieties with information on variety choice for spring oilseed rape, linseed, peas and beans. Advice and information from:

Clare Leaman

Clare LeamanClare has worked in variety evaluation at NIAB for over 25 years. For the majority of this time Clare has worked with combinable crops and more recently focused on cereals. Much of Clare’s work revolves around knowledge transfer within the industry both through the NIAB TAG Membership as well as to a much wider audience. Translating data and trial information into a digestible format for the growers and agronomists to use on the front line is a high priority. Clare is widely regarded as a key source of independent variety advice to growers.

Simon Kightley 

Simon KightleySimon has been NIAB’s oilseed rape crop expert since 1990, having previously worked on both vegetable and fodder crops. The routine focus of his activities is on variety testing and advice on variety selection to growers. Over the last ten years he has also worked on agronomy experiments, including studies on seed rate, nitrogen inputs and fungicide response. Now, because of the threat to the oilseed rape crop from cabbage stem flea beetles since the neonicotinoid seed treatment ban, he is heavily engaged with experiments to improve crop establishment using companion crops. Simon has also worked on the nutritional value of rapeseed meal and the ‘Yield Plateau’ project. He is a Board Member of the GCIRC, the global organisation for oilseed rape research.

Innovation in new fungicide chemistry, new strategies and the role of SDHIs alongside the future role of EU legislation post-Brexit. Compare wheat fungicide programme options in the plots and understand the value of resistant varieties. Advice and information from:

Bill Clark 

Bill ClarkNIAB Commercial Technical Director, Bill is a plant pathologist by training, with extensive experience in plant biology and applied plant science and a special interest in knowledge transfer. His expertise spans both horticultural and arable crop pathology and during the last 20 years, almost exclusively cereal disease control. He is a prominent public speaker on agricultural issues and has previously been Director of Broom’s Barn Research Centre (the UK’s national sugar beet research centre in Suffolk) and National Cereal Pathologist for ADAS.

Patrick Stephenson 

Patrick StephensonPatrick is NIAB TAG’s Northern Regional Agronomist. A key aspect of his role is to ensure that members, particularly in the north, continue to benefit from the wealth of technical information and advice that NIAB TAG has to offer. An award-winning independent arable advisor, he is well-known throughout the region for his work on crop production and farm business management. He has over 25 years’ experience as an advisor, and was awarded Britain’s Agronomist of the Year 2001 by Crops Magazine and National Arable Advisor of the Year in 2007 by Farmers Weekly.

Steve Cook

Steve CookNIAB TAG’s Southern Regional Agronomist, Steve is also an independent agronomist and senior partner with Hampshire Arable Systems. In addition to his role at NIAB TAG, providing strategic agronomy advice and information to the membership, he has over 40 farmer agronomy clients covering over 12,000 ha, mainly in Hampshire, Surrey and Wiltshire. Prior to becoming an agronomist, he studied at Nottingham University and Harper Adams, and more recently he has studied for the BASIS Diploma in Agronomy, successfully completing it in 2013.

Richard Overthrow 

Richard OverthrowRichard is NIAB TAG’s Western Regional Agronomist, working with farmer members with the provision of technical services and strategic advice, alongside the management of NIAB’s agronomy research programme in the west and south-west of the UK, and development of knowledge transfer activities. An experienced arable advisor, Richard is regularly consulted for advice and opinion by the farming press. A graduate in Applied Biology (Crop Protection) he has spent his entire career in independent agronomy research, initially with the newly formed Cotswold Cereal Centre, then helping to launch and develop the Arable Research Centres which, through mergers including via The Arable Group, is now part of NIAB TAG

The latest developments on yellow rust and field pathogenomics with the NIAB UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey team(includes demonstration plots)Advice and information from:

Dr Sarah Holdgate

Sarah HoldgateSarah is a cereal pathologist focusing on diseases of cereal crops and the improvement of crops through plant breeding.  She manages NIAB’s cereal pathology research projects, including the UKCPVS, which focuses on the monitoring and characterisation of cereal pathogen populations, and has extensive knowledge on the wheat-yellow rust pathosystem through both her current post and previous work at the breeding company RAGT.  Sarah also leads an AHDB-funded project on the characterisation of novel isolates of Zymoseptoria tritici and is co-leader on other plant pathology projects at NIAB, including the development of field pathogenomics for surveillance of yellow rust in collaboration with the John Innes Centre and the Earlham Institute. Prior to her position at NIAB, Sarah was the Plant Breeding Pathologist at RAGT Seeds Ltd, where she managed the European Cereal Pathology Support Group. 

Improving skills development in the arable sectors - transferring the latest innovations and developments in crop research, knowledge and legislation into practice on farm with a range of practical and online courses.

Steven Tompkins

Steven TompkinsSteven works within NIAB’s membership and training services, looking after a range of clients from farming businesses, to agri-businesses and the food and drinks companies. He leads NIAB’s ARTIS training platform, which exists to apply the latest research and knowledge to the field to boost productivity. Starting his career at ADAS, Steven has seven years’ experience of consultancy on a range of agriculture and food issues for public and private organisations.


NIAB TAG membership services including the latest independent crop production advice and farmer-led research, field days, agronomy trials results, unique regional variety information and weekly agronomy updates through the season. Advice and information from:

Dr Juno McKee

Juno McKeeJuno is Head of Crops and Agronomy Business Development and is responsible for a range of projects that involve networking with diverse stakeholders delivering services related to business, technical and educational advancement.  Her scientific background is in the breeding systems of natural plant populations and she signed up to a career in the agricultural industry in 1995 when she joined NIAB. She has held many different roles at NIAB leading business development, management and technical co-ordination activities across a number of our plant varieties and seeds services. Juno also obtained an MBA during this time and was lucky enough to be awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship on Adding Value in Wheat Chains in 2003.

Andrew Watson

Andrew WatsonAndrew is the NIAB TAG Eastern Regional Agronomist involved with technical services to members in the East of England. His background is independent agronomy with 25 years’ experience across Norfolk and Suffolk. He served as the chairman of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC) for four years, as well as director for nutritional and legislative affairs.

Robinson and Hall

Stand 825

Robinson and Hall will look at various aspects when proposing how best to add value and manage costs but a few examples are:

  • Can their business be diversified in any way to add value?
  • Can their land/farm be developed to add value? – through extension or gaining planning permission to build new or convert existing?
  • Is their Basic Payment Scheme application accurate – do they comply with all guidelines to make sure they receive the highest payment possible?
  • Can any buildings be sold/let to add value?
  • Would renewable energy benefit the farmer and cut costs?
  • Would the farmer benefit from any grants or business finance?

Robinson and Hall's unique in-house set up means that our clients’ can benefit from a cross section of expertise which allows for a thorough analysis of their farm/land when proposing which route to take.

The Experts:

Andrew CapelAndrew Capel MRICS FAAV

Senior Partner and Head of Land Agency is originally from a farming family and provides expertise in all aspects of rural land management, working on behalf of a range of clients.


Stephen HomeStephen Home BSc FRICS FAAV

Managing Partner is the son of a Cheshire dairy farmer and specialises in estate management, landlord and tenant, valuations and compulsory purchase. He is also an agent and valuer for the AMC.


Andrew JenkinsonAndrew Jenkinson BSc MRICS FAAV, Partner grew up on a family farm in the Cotswolds and studied a BSc in Land Management. He provides a range of services including rent reviews, valuations and advising on farm support and environmental schemes. He is also an agent and valuer for the AMC.



Polly SwewllPolly Sewell MSc MRICS FAAV, Partner undertakes a variety of work including estate management, lettings, valuations and advising rural businesses on farm support and environmental schemes.



Jim CribbJim Cribb BA (Hons), Assistant Rural Surveyor joined Robinson & Hall in January 2016 and is currently studying for his RICS exams. He is involved in all aspects of land agency, particularly rent reviews, valuations and farm support schemes.



Bruce HolleyBruce Holley BSc (Hons), Assistant Rural Surveyor joined Robinson & Hall in September 2016 after graduating with a Rural Property Management degree. He is involved in all aspects of land agency, including estate management and valuations.

Soya UK


Soya is a new crop to the UK, but with around a five-fold increase in the area grown in 2016, and a further five-fold increase for 2017, the national area is now around 4500 acres. There is enormous interest in the crop as a possible new broad-acre break crop which could help combat blackgrass, and reduce the dependence on Oilseed Rape as the main break crop in the UK. For harvest 2018, the area is expected to expand rapidly again to somewhere between 15,000 and 25,000 acres.

Soya UK will be at Cereals to provide information on all aspects of the crop from the varieties and agronomy, through to the harvesting and marketing of the crop.

With peas and beans at around £150 per tonne, and Soya being worth around £400 per tonne, there is an enormous value uplift with soya. Furthermore, with a 3 million tonne market just in the UK, there is enormous market pull for this new crop, and this high value, high-volume market is ready to accept UK-grown crop.  Soya is inherently low input with little in the way of pests & diseases; in addition, the crop is a nitrogen-fixing legume, so it is well positioned to help reduce fertiliser costs.  Growing soya can also be an interesting part of the farms financial strategy.  Large tonnages of soya are imported into the UK, whilst most farmers growing export crops such as wheat.  Any loss in wheat value due to pre/post-Brexit currency fluctuations will be automatically hedged by a proportional increase in the value of their soya crop.

The Expert: David McNaughton

David McNaughtonDavid is the Managing Director of Soya UK Ltd and has been working with soya since 1998. David is regarded as one of the foremost experts in Soya production in Europe, and has given specialist advice on Soya agronomy and seed production in a number of countries, including Chile, Iran, China, Canada and the Ukraine. He holds a number of industry qualifications in agronomy, seed production, agriculture, animal nutrition and plant genetics.

Soya UK Ltd specialise in triticale, lupins, millet, forage mixtures and currently supply 100% of the developing UK soya acreage.

Specialist Crop Zone

Stand 910

From bigger margins to beneficial agronomic traits, specialist crops can add value to arable rotations. 

See a variety of crops including linseed, canary seed, red wheat, naked oats, naked barley and soya in the Specialist Crop Zone. Discuss the agronomy and contracts available.

The experts:

The British Quinoa Company: The British Quinoa Company has the UK license to quinoa varieties bred specifically for the cool European climate. Over the past ten years the organisation has conducted field trials, developing the agronomic knowledge to successfully increase production from 20 tonnes in 2013 to close to 700 in 2015.  Its own brand retail packs, as well as a contract with Pret a Manager is stimulating demand and developing the market for this specialist crop.  

Premium Crops: Premium Crops are the UK Leading independent speciality arable crops provider.

Soya UK: David is the Managing Director of Soya UK Ltd and has been working with soya since 1998. He is regarded as one of the foremost experts in Soya production in Europe, and has given specialist advice on Soya agronomy and seed production in a number of countries, including Chile, Iran, China, Canada and the Ukraine.  Soya UK Ltd specialise in triticale, lupins, millet, forage mixtures and currently supply 100% of the developing UK soya acreage.

Find out more

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