THE Cereals Event has moved to June 30-July 1 to accommodate the maximum number of visitors and exhibitors following the Government’s announcement of its lockdown exit strategy.
After extensive consultation with both exhibitors and visitors, the event team decided it was best to move the dates from June 9-10.
“We began consulting after Boris Johnson’s announcement on February 22 to end lockdown restrictions in England by June 21,” says event organiser Alli McEntyre.
“Speaking with exhibitors and visitors, we looked at the choice of having a restricted event in early June or moving the date and potentially having no restrictions, and the majority opted for the latter.
“We wanted to act quickly in making this decision to give everyone certainty so they can plan ahead,” she added.
“This is a really positive move for visitors, exhibitors and the event as it will maximise the opportunities for all without lockdown restrictions in place.”
The event format will remain the same, meaning visitors can still expect to see a large host of exhibitors, live demonstrations and attend a full seminar programme. Features will include the Syngenta Sprays & Sprayers Arena, Isuzu Driving Course, Crop Plots, NIAB Soil Pit and Drone Zone, as well as many others.
“Though the Government is targeting a full lifting of lockdown restrictions before the new date, we are still planning on prioritising visitor safety and will be taking all necessary precautions while allowing visitors to enjoy the entire event experience,” explains Ms McEntytre.
“We realise the change of date may not slot into everyone’s schedule, however, moving it to a later date will allow the maximum number of visitors to get the most from the event.”
Meanwhile, the crop plots at the Lincolnshire Cereals Event site have wintered well and are going into spring in strong shape, according to the event agronomist and site manager.
A key feature of Cereals, the crop plots present visitors with a chance to see the latest varieties from a wide range of breeders. As June will mark two years since anyone last had a chance to get this first-hand experience, it’s important to showcase them in the best possible condition – although the British weather can present some challenges, says event organiser Ms McEntyre. “Our team have put all their efforts into establishing and caring for the crop plots so that visitors can see the latest breeding developments and crop protection methods in person,” she said.
Crops have been through a cold period but all the plots have come through the winter and are looking well, according to Shaun Coleman, centre manager at NIAB, who is managing the site. “They went into winter looking fairly healthy and well established and we had no issues other than a little bit of mouse damage – something we don’t usually see. We also had an issue keeping rooks off in the late autumn-sown crops but that is normal.”
The oilseed rape plots withstood the snow and frost quite well and are still protected by nets for pigeon control, says Peter Brumpton, AICC site agronomist.
“We pulled a few plants and did find some cabbage stem flea beetle larvae which was a bit of a concern.” Other farms in the area have also found larvae in their oilseed rape, but at lower levels than seen previously. “The hope is they will stay in the leaf and not go into the stem – we are keeping an eye on it and how it might impact the crop later this year.”
The team will also be keeping an eye on light leaf spot levels in the rapeseed, but the cold snap has helped tone down any yellow rust issues in the winter wheat. “It’s taken the pressure off,” says Mr Brumpton. “There are no great issues with disease in cereals at this stage and we aren’t needing to put any fungicides on.”
n The Cereals Event will be held in Lincolnshire on June 30-July 1 and will comply with all required biosecurity measures against Covid-19. For more information or to register for tickets visit www.cerealsevent.co.uk and use the code ‘FREE1’. For those who have already registered, tickets will transfer to the new dates automatically.
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