Arable Event hailed a success
Farmers and industry experts defied this week’s heatwave to attend a key fixture in the arable farming calendar in huge numbers.
The Arable Event, held on the Shropshire and Staffordshire border at Weston-under-Lizard, drew around 1,200 visitors from across the Midlands and beyond for its fourth incarnation.
The centrepiece for the day, on June 21, was the extensive trial planting, giving farmers and their advisers a chance to look closely at all of the important new winter wheats, winter barley varieties (and new hybrids), winter oats, hybrid rye and triticale, while comparing them to better known and established strains grown alongside.
There was also millions of pounds of machinery on the site for the free event, thanks to the attendance of many of the region’s leading dealers.
Discussion in the HSBC-sponsored Speakers’ Marquee was dominated by the implications of Brexit, one year on. The Arable Event 2016 was held a day before the EU referendum, putting the topic close to the hearts of many delegates last year and this. Sadly former Government minister and North Shropshire MP, Owen Paterson, was unable to keep to his plan to attend due to the re-scheduling of the State Opening of Parliament on the same day.
Simon Ward, founder and MD of Increment Ltd and Inside Track, led the presentations, telling the assembled crowd that they needed to examine their businesses in light of the Brexit situation and the likely loss of many subsidies.
Peter Fane, of Eurinco and TPG, advised delegates to spend the next 18 months working to ensure their business was among the strongest in the sector, in order to withstand shocks but also be able to capitalise on opportunities.
A moisture meter clinic and free soil pH testing and test results analysis were also popular features of the day, as were talks from his specially dug soil trench by independent consultant and soil agronomist working with Calcifert, Mark Tripney, who was explaining the impacts of soil erosion on crops to visitors.
Event manager for Wynnstay Group and GrainLink, Kelly Dolphin, said: “We couldn’t be more pleased with how the day went. We welcomed the huge numbers we’ve come to expect through the gates and the people we spoke with got a lot out of the day. Arable farmers and those who work with them relish an opportunity like this to get together both for the knowledge they can glean and share and for the social opportunity it provides.
“Now we start planning for 2018, which will be something of a milestone as it will be the fifth annual running of The Arable Event, which will certainly be something to celebrate!”