Best-ever Arable Event with a Record Attendance
The Arable Event 2019 at Woodlands Farm, Weston Under Lizard on 19th June was the best-ever and attracted a record attendance.
Up to 1,500 visitors and exhibitors gathered to see acres and acres of some of the UK’s most robust and high-yielding wheat and barley varieties growing in welcome sunshine at the influential annual occasion, organised by Wynnstay and GrainLink.
The Arable Event, now in its sixth year, provides essential, tailormade information to our arable farmers for the upcoming harvest and drilling season.
Event Manager Kelly Dolphin said: “We have had the most exhibitors ever and record attendance. There was an amazing atmosphere throughout the day.
“Our farmers have been so complimentary, saying how much they enjoyed having a social get together and I’m already taking bookings for next year.
“On top of that, the speakers were good, the weather was lovely and we even had sunshine after weeks of heavy rain. The view of the show site as coming over the hill was wonderful and it is pleasing to see how much the show has grown over six years.”
Dr Simon Pope, Wynnstay Crop Protection Manager, said: “There is no doubt that this was our best-ever show yet. It has been well run, nicely presented and very well attended.
“Our customers have said how well the crops are looking and the feedback has been exceptionally positive.”
In the Speakers’ Tent, Chair to the Speakers, Grace O’Dwyer, Regional Agricultural Director of HSBC Corporate Banking, pointed out that half of the British farmers surveyed don’t want to think about changes to come because of Brexit.
And Peter Wilding, a corporate lawyer with FBC Manby Bowdler, specialising in EU law and Brexit, warned farmers and agri-businesses that they need to prepare for Brexit and its many impacts - both in the short and longer term.
He said: “There are less than 120 days to go until the Brexit deadline on October 31 so all farmers – and there are 474,000 farmers working on 200,000 farms - need to be aware of the challenges it presents.
“Leaving the European Union will mean we won’t be able to trade without tariffs and there will be new customs rules. There will definitely be delays to shipments, new food and animal health and safety inspection rules and farmers will need to protect themselves from price variations - so they need to look at their contracts and compliance.”
He urged farmers not to be too pessimistic though and although most farm incomes look set to fall post-Brexit, through a loss of subsidies and the cost of imports rising, he said there are opportunities for farmers who aim for the highest farm-to-fork quality and those who come up with new ideas, like farming venison.
Wheat is the second-most important direct source of food calories in the world and fellow speaker, Graham Redman, a partner of The Andersons Centre, stressed that everyone will still need food post-Brexit.
“Three-quarters of agri-food imports into the UK currently come from Europe but why don’t we feed ourselves? We could be self-sufficient,” he said.
The Arable Event demonstrated seed trial plots including winter cereals, oilseed rape, hybrid rye, winter oats and winter barley. Trade stands, a moisture meter clinic and the latest working farm machinery were also highlights.
A Local Farmers’ Market introduced to the event for the first time, offered visitors a chance to tempt their tastebuds to a variety of Shropshire delicacies. The market includes Baked for You, an award-winning boutique bakery near Shrewsbury, Morgans Butchers, Moyden’s Cheese, Powells Pies and Shropshire Salumi.
Woodlands Farm is part of Harnage estates farming company, operated by brothers Simon and Justin Scott. Initially farmers from Cheshire, the Scott family moved to Harnage Grange in 1961 following the sale of the family-owned bakery business to Associated British Foods (ABF). The Land at Weston Under Lizard has been contract farmed for Lord Bradford and Viscount Newport via the land agents Bidwells since 1987. Predominantly arable, it is managed day-to-day by James Dyball at Harnage and Doug Mccowan at Woodlands Farm.
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If you are interested in booking a trade stand for The Arable Event 2020, please contact Kelly Dolphin, event manager by email: Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01939 211256.