Innovative seminars at the Midlands Machinery Show

Water and nutrients are invaluable assets to any farmer, but at a time of tight margins and environmental focus it’s essential to optimise their use efficiencies. And visitors to the annual Midlands Machinery Show on 20-21 November can find out how in an inspiring programme of seminars.

Covering a range of technical subjects from recycling biosolids to water management, planning permission to the fourth agricultural revolution, the seminars are sure to challenge and inspire visitors, says show manager Elizabeth Halsall. “Whether you want to debate the future of farming with Defra or find out how to use precision farming techniques to maximise efficiencies, we have brought together some top-notch speakers to impart expertise and bright new ideas.”

Abigail Cutts, farm liaison officer from Severn Trent, will be hosting a seminar on using recycled biosolids as fertiliser, and the benefits that brings to both the soil and crops. “Farmers are faced with high fertiliser costs and this is a cheaper alternative which is 100% organic recycled sewage,” she says.

“It is processed to be free of bacteria, so it is safe to use and complies with most assurance schemes. It is a good source of phosphate and adds a lot of organic structure to the soil – it’s a natural material and environmentally sound.”

The seminar will take a look at the process involved in making biosolids safe for use, and how farmers can apply to use them on their farm. “We assess whether the land is suitable and if it is, we spread it on after harvest and the farmer can incorporate it.”

Water use is another topic which is under the spotlight right now given steps to reduce and remove water abstraction licences. Michael Jorden at JRH Water Management will be asking if delegates could farm a single day without water. “Water is a very important part of farming, if you take it away, we crash and burn,” he says. “People don’t always realise its importance but without it our crops, our animals and we will die.”

In the seminar he will be discussing sustainable water systems like rainwater harvesting, and how implementing different technology can yield financial and physical returns. “We try to find water solutions and technology for farmers which are sustainable but also bring a return on investment. It’s not just about comparing it to mains water, there are lots of other benefits too.”

Other seminar topics include a guide to planning permission, how digital soil scanning and data collection is revolutionising arable farming, what the fourth agricultural revolution means for your farm, tyre choice for farm vehicles, farm safety, and supporting mental health in the rural community. Seminars will be run in dedicated seminar rooms in the Lady Eastwood Centre, NRoSO and BASIS points are available for attendees.

For the first time, visitors can pre-register their attendance online and beat the queues on show day. To register your free place, go to