Day One, Tomorrow’s Solutions for Today’s Challenges: Farming is the solution to so many of society’s challenges; from food production to air and water quality to biodiversity and carbon management. The programme for this 2-day theatre covers the impact and influence of the new Ag Bill and ELMS on farming businesses – and how the new legislation, incentives, innovations, skills and partnerships will support the continued delivery of high-quality food alongside the environmental needs of society across the United Kingdom.

Day Two, Soil Health Day:  A recent UK survey reveals that more than a third of arable soils are significantly degraded compared with less than 7% for grassland.  No apologies, therefore, for dedicating the second day of Cereals 2021 to creating healthier soil systems, which is so critical for climate-resilient, sustainable food production and natural resource management.

Content Partner

30 Jun 2021
  1. Cereals AHDB Theatre
    Welcome and Introduction by Nicholas Saphir, AHDB Chairman
  2. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    Businesses the world over recognise that greater returns come from aligning economic, social and environmental interests. Farming is no different.  Healthy profits that flow from fully integrating productivity and environmental measures - driven by highly skilled and motivated teams - mark out winning arable businesses. 

    Session introduction given by sponsor representative, Vaughan Stansfield, Country Manager, UPL.

    Now is the time to review your business and costs to adapt to the changing economic and environmental climate. George Badger, partner at Ceres Rural looks at where arable businesses can fine-tune and adapt to the new challenges and opportunities.

    The Allerton Project at Loddington Estate is home to progressive research, and practices, that aim to produce high quality food whilst protecting wildlife and the environment. Farms Director, Phil Jarvis sums up the approach that this 800ha arable business approach is taking to deliver a healthy bottom line as farming subsidies shrink.

    A motivated and skilled team, the use of robust science and technology complement Poul Hoveson’s regenerative approach across more than 5,000ha of highly productive cropping in Norfolk and Poland.

    Sponsored by

    UPL logo for session sponsorship

  3. Cereals AHDB Theatre
    Rt Hon MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, will join Cereals in person to discuss soil health initiatives and to answer questions from the audience.  
  4. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    Farmers are both a source and a sink for carbon emissions. This session explores how farming businesses prevent and manage the impacts of climate change – as well as creating resilient and sustainable landscapes for food and wildlife.  

    Session introduction given by Janine Heath, Strategic Marketing Manager, CHAP.

    Minette Batters, NFU believes UK farming businesses can be leaders of climate-resilient food production. She examines the road to achieve net zero by 2040 – and what economic opportunities and challenges lie on that journey.

    Amy Watkins, Agrii – how can agronomy service providers help farmers to deliver low carbon methods of food production? The starting point is selecting ‘sustainable’ varieties followed up by using low-carbon fertilisers and minimal and targeted pesticide usage.

    Thomas Gent used lockdown to explore what the value of carbon was on his father’s 800ha farm in South Lincs. He’s created Gentle Farming - a group of like-minded farmers that aim to reverse the impact of climate change, creating a new income stream to their own businesses through premium carbon credits.

    Sponsored by


  5. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    As farmers face increasing financial and environmental challenges, could collaboration be the answer? We hear from arable farmers working and learning from each other, new entrants and the wider community.

    The rewards of having a mentor through the Henry Plumb Foundation have been numerous for cousins, Will and Charlie Cheyney who both farm in Hampshire. It’s given them confidence to pursue farming operations that work with nature but maximise productivity. The collaboration between the cousins is also key: They share a similar outlook which enables them to inspire, learn and push each other on their different farming businesses.

    Tim May dares to think and behave differently. Having spent the past few years regenerating soil health and biodiversity, he now has six enterprising partners (from shepherds to mountain bikes and woodland burials) that are helping to grow and shape the future of Kingsclere Estate as a thriving circular community.

    Antony Pearce is a great believer in joint ventures. Having recently ‘divorced’ from one of his joint ventures he provides a unique insight on what works and what doesn’t - and the benefits of sharing capital and input costs on his Oxfordshire arable business.

  6. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    The AHDB Monitor Farm debate, will this year tackle the route to achieving net zero by 2040.  Discuss the Monitor Farmers progress on reaching net zero so far and we will debate if this goal is possible and if it is, just what changes need to happen at farm level. With Tom Mead, Duxford Monitor farm, Rob Beaumont, Hereford Monitor farm and Harley Stoddart, AHDB.

  7. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    Regional variations of how wheat varieties perform throughout the season are just as important as the national picture. Bill Clark, NIAB and Mark Bollebakker, AHDB, talk to colleagues around the country to reveal the winners and losers in the regions. 


  8. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    Introduced by sponsor representative, Harry Atkinson, Sencrop, this technical session focuses on finding new ways to better manage pests and diseases and reduce conventional pesticide usage.

    Biopesticides:  Could conventional synthetic pesticides be replaced by biopesticides like fungi, bacteria, nematodes and plant extracts? Dr Belinda Luke, CABI, talks about her work to find an alternative to neonicotinoids to control cabbage stem flea beetle.

    Natural defences:  Neil Havis at SRUC is investigating the impact of applying ‘natural elicitors’ such as those derived from seaweed to boost the natural disease resistance of crop plants. These natural sprays are ready to play a key role in IPM strategies to reduce pesticide usage.

    Genes:  Wendy Harwood, John Innes Centre, will cover the possible impact of a changed UK stance on gene editing following the recent Government consultation. In 2014 scientists reported using gene editing to create mildew resistant wheat. What other opportunities does gene editing offer?

    Sponsored by

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  9. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    A mixed farming system offers additional benefits and income streams – and for many businesses it provides an overall net benefit that surpasses the sum of the two parts. This session explores the value that agroforestry, livestock and bioenergy can bring to arable businesses.

    Helen Chesshire, Woodland Trust, reviews the numerous benefits of agroforestry on arable farms, the grants available to support inter-tree cropping and tree species selection.

    George Hosier, Wexcombe Farm, Wiltshire runs a mixed farming business that capitalises on the synergies of animals in an arable rotation to deliver high quality crops and enhance soil and environmental health.

    Gareth Williams, Caplor Energy, has been trialling a variety of green energy solutions to complement his mixed farm in Fownhope, Herefordshire. From this, Caplor Energy was born, which now provides consultancy for other farming businesses.

  10. Cereals AHDB Theatre
    How does the next generation manage the stresses and strains of the modern era as well as inspire and encourage greater inclusion and diversity into the profession? YFC AGRI’s chair and vice-chair Tom Pope and Sammy Allen, Flavian Obiero and Charlotte Garbutt talk frankly about challenges, opportunities and plans for a positive future.

    Sponsored by 

    NFYFC logo for session sponsorship

01 Jul 2021
  1. Cereals AHDB Theatre
    Welcoming remarks from Minister Prentis, DEFRA.
  2. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    Soil health is at the heart of a healthy business. This session explores regenerative techniques and soil health measurement tools, providing deeper understanding of carbon sequestration and the interaction between macro and micronutrients.

    What is an appropriate amount of carbon for my soil? Presented by Steve McGrath, Rothamsted Research, scientists at Rothamsted have a soil health index based on the ratio of organic carbon and clay content. Knowing whether your soil is in good health or degraded, provides an essential baseline to protect, manage and monitor their soils to improve its carbon storage and overall health.

    There’s a lot more to knowing your soils than just N, P and K.  Elizabeth Stockdale, NIAB, will discuss what other soil chemical and physical properties farmers need to understand in order to deliver healthier and profitable soils. 

    Dorset farmer, John Hawkins, is working alongside the Poole Harbour ELMs trial and Wessex Water to build soil carbon in order to filter cleaner drinking water. This public private partnership is delivering both improved soil fertility and public goods - a win-win situation.

  3. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    Understanding the details surrounding new legislation and environmental schemes across the UK is critical for farming businesses if they are to maximise the opportunities in the drive to create ecosystem services for society alongside food production.

    Session introduction given by sponsor representative, Marcus Travers, Lead in Agri-Food Technology, Anglia Ruskin University.

    Janet Hughes, Programme Director for Future Farming and Countryside Defra provides an insight on Sustainable Farm Incentive (SFI) and the future shape of UK farming and how working with landscape stakeholders delivers equitable benefits for all.

    AHDB’s David Swales explores the bigger policy picture and the impact of future trade deals across the UK.

    Louis Fell is exploring farmer collaboration to deliver landscape-level environmental benefits, such as protecting watercourses and recovering wildlife, as part of Defra's ELMS trials.

    Sponsored by

    ARU logo for session sponsorship

  4. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    Improving drainage, managing flooding, run-off and drought are crucial to delivering greater crop productivity and mitigating risks of soils and pesticides entering watercourses. This session provides scientific and practical insights on creating farming systems that can withstand increasingly challenging weather events.

    Nuffield Scholar, Rob Burtonshaw, Farm Service Ltd explores the productivity and environmental benefits of investing in drainage - and how new technology is making it more cost effective.

    New developments in hydrological and meteorological forecasting can provide farmers with accurate early drought warnings reveals Jamie Hannaford at UKCEH.

    Monitoring moisture levels is key to being able to manage soils to deliver healthy outcomes explains Peter White from Soil Moisture Sense.

  5. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    The AHDB Monitor Farm debate, will this year tackle the route to achieving net zero by 2040.  Discuss the Monitor Farmers progress on reaching net zero so far and we will debate if this goal is possible and if it is, just what changes need to happen at farm level. With Pip Robson, Chathill Monitor farm, Dave Blacker, Strategic Cereal Farm North and Harley Stoddart, AHDB.


  6. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    Cover and companion cropping are amongst a raft of measures being deployed to rebuild soil structure and health. Scientists and farmers provide their own insights and experience into soil restoration.  

    Session introduction given by sponsor representative, Andrew Sincock, Commercial Director, Agro-Vital.

    The microbiome – the microbes that colonise the root zone - have a major influence on crop growth and yield. Professor Gary Bending from Warwick University explores how new research is identifying how rotations affect the microbiome, including pathogen composition, and how to use that to benefit crop productivity.

    Mycorrhizal fungi, encouraged with the careful selection of cover and companion crops, are key to David Miller’s soil health strategy across three arable businesses in Hampshire.

    Syed Shah, NIAB looks at the science behind soil biostimulants and soil improvers – do they work, and if so how, and importantly where do they work best?

    Sponsored by

    Agrovital logo for session sponsorship

  7. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    This session explores ways to manage the environment more positively whilst protecting, or boosting, profit margins.

    How can farmers build carbon in a balanced and profitable way? This session presented by Mark Bowsher-Gibbs, SAC Consulting, explores how carbon calculators can give farming businesses a detailed breakdown of carbon emissions by source, enterprise and activity alongside benchmarking and KPIs to create an efficient management plan.

    What impact do hedges and grass margins have on the weed ecology – and how do we manage beneficial insects better? These are just some of the issues being explored in EU-wide research presented by Jonathan Storkey, Rothamsted Research.

    This session entitled Fine tuning Fertiliser is presented by Sarah Kendall, ADAS.  More efficient and effective use of fertiliser is key to protecting the environment and boosting profitability. Work at ADAS through the YEN is shedding light on opportunities for improving crop nutrition through grain analysis. It completes the story started by soil analysis and developed by leaf analysis and reveals whether a crop actually captured enough of each nutrient throughout its entire life.

  8. Cereals AHDB Theatre

    Controlled traffic wheeling, minimal cultivations, cover cropping and intercropping are amongst a raft of measures being deployed to rebuild soil structures and health. Scientists and farmers provide their own insights and experience in soil restoration.

    Philip Wright, Director of Wright Resolutions, explains how to use deep rooting crops and targeted mechanical interventions to reduce compaction both across and within fields.

    Tim Chamen at CTF Europe explores the benefits of Controlled Traffic Farming – how to implement it, what the benefits are, and how to overcome common challenges.

    Prof Adrian Newton, cereal pathologist at the James Hutton Institute, explores how intercropping can benefit soil health, crop health and productivity.

  9. Cereals AHDB Theatre
    Young farmers are embracing the race to net zero with new ideas and thinking. This is an opportunity to hear from inspiring young farmers and contribute to the conversation on creating climate-resilient food production and views for the COP26 conference in November.   In this session, you will hear from YFC AGRI’s chair and vice-chair Tom Pope and Sammy Allen, Dr Ceris Jones - NFU Climate Change Adviser and Elliot Cole - winner of the NFYFC Climate Change Video Challenge.

    Sponsored by

    NFYFC logo for session sponsorship


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