Arable supply chain in focus on new Cereals seminar stage

You are currently viewing Arable supply chain in focus on new Cereals seminar stage

Tracing the arable supply chain – from seed in the field to products on the shelf – is the theme of a brand-new seminar stage at this year’s Cereals Event (11-12 June 2024).

Created in partnership with leading industry associations, the Seed to Shelf stage, sponsored by KWS, will host two full days of informative seminars from plant breeders, agronomists, farm contractors, and farmers through to grain marketers, processors, retail brands and retailers.

“We understand the critical role the arable supply chain has in producing sustainable food sources that feed our country now and for future generations, and we are delighted to be the sponsor for the Seed to Shelf feature at Cereals 2024,” says Dr Kirsty Richards, conventional crops product manager at KWS.

“The schedule is full of informative seminars that explore a range of diverse topical matters that all impact the future of agriculture. We look forward to seeing you there.”

The jam-packed programme will kick off with opening remarks from NFU president Tom Bradshaw and Minister of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries, Mark Spencer, followed by what looks to be a lively panel discussion on regenerative agriculture and the future of crop breeding.

Among the panellists is Bill Angus of Angus Wheat Consultants Ltd, who says the topic of regenerative agriculture always makes for a contentious debate due to the many interpretations of the phrase. “My definition is that regenerative agriculture is what farmers should have been doing for the past 30 years or so but were incentivised not to do it. So now, we have to repair the damage of past agricultural policies.”

As far as the future of crop breeding, Bill feels a shift in how varieties are marketed will drive forward innovation. “Ultimately, a lot of varieties are bred for the Recommended List. Therefore, there has to be a mechanism where breeders are incentivised – not necessarily financially – to develop different traits. The genetic variability is absolutely there though.”

This session will be followed by an update on the latest advances in crop protection, nutrition and agronomy, chaired by Agronomist & Arable Farmer editor, Richard Lawrence.

Getting seed into the ground and up and away requires good kit, and a panel discussion with key figures from big-name manufacturers will ask how machinery can help growers meet sustainability targets.

Lancashire farmer and Youtuber Olly Harrison is also set to appear on the panel. “Machinery manufacturers have recognised that they’ve got to be producing sustainable machinery,” he comments. “Some of the technology that’s available on drills now, for example, allows us to use no-till techniques to protect the soil which is vital. I’m looking forward to hearing more from the manufacturers about their plans for the future and the direction which machinery is heading in.”

Keeping with the machinery theme, the NAAC will head up a session on the economics of using a contractor, while recruitment specialist Guy Moreton will be discussing how to recruit the next generation across the whole supply chain.

Turning focus to the business end of the supply chain and Charlie Reeve, Farmers Weekly business reporter, will be joined by grain traders and other key industry experts to discuss what’s happening in global grain markets, and the direction of travel for UK prices.

Interlinking all of these topics is the growing influence the environment – and its protection – is having right the way across the supply chain. But what are future prospects when it comes to green premiums?

This year’s Cereals Event will raise the question in a session chaired by Farmers Weekly editor Andrew Meredith, joined by experts from the oat, wheat, and barley markets who will share their perspectives on the future of green premiums.

“What we have continually heard from producers in recent years is they are willing to adapt to market requirements if the reward is adequate,” says Mr Meredith.

“It has been encouraging to see innovation in the marketplace already from startups like Wildfarmed and new schemes from established players, like Carlsberg.

“I hope our panel of experts will be able to share insights on whether the majority of cereal growers should expect to have to comply with additional growing standards linked to environmental outcomes in future and have a lovely discussion on the merits of that.”

Seminars are an important part of the offering at Cereals, concludes event manager. “The sessions are renowned for raising thought-provoking questions on some of the biggest challenges and scenarios the industry faces. Having a dedicated space for the first time to delve deeper into the breadth of the supply chain will no doubt be invaluable for visitors.”

BOX: Seed to Shelf seminar line up at time of press…

Session Confirmed speakers so far Agenda
Welcoming remarks
  • Mark Spencer, Minister for food, farming & fisheries, Defra
  • Tom Bradshaw, President, NFU
Opening remarks from the secretary of state and the NFU president
Regenerative agriculture and the future of crop breeding
  • Emma Gillbard, Deputy arable editor, Farmers Weekly
  • Kim Hammond-Kosack, Leader of Functional Genomics, Wheat Pathogenomics, WGIN and PHI-base,  Rothamsted Research
  • Bill Angus, Co-founder, Angus Wheat Consultants Ltd
  • Henry Barber, Breeder, KWS
  • Anthony Hopkins, Head of policy & business management, British Society of Plant Breeders
Panel discussion covering key topics relative to the future of plant breeding including the importance of regenerative agriculture to breeders, the place for heritage genetics, using genetics to increase tolerance to pests, diseases and weeds, as well as thoughts on genetic modification.
Crop protection, nutrition and agronomy update
  • Richard Lawrence, Editor, Agronomist & Arable Farmer Magazine
An update on the latest advances in crop protection, nutrition and agronomy.
Farm to fork: How machinery can help growers meet sustainability targets
  • Matt Tilt, Editor, Farm Contractor & Large Scale Farmer Magazine
  • Olly Harrison, Lancashire farmer and YouTuber
  • Stephen Howarth, Council secretary, Agricultural Engineers Association
  • Simon Brown, Managing director, Amazone Ltd
  • Nigel Honeyman, Harvesting marketing specialist, New Holland Agriculture
A panel discussion on machinery developments and how these can help growers meet the growing number of requirements to farm more sustainability.


The Q&A part of this session will also give visitors an opportunity to speak directly to manufacturers regarding what they need from machinery of the future.

Do the economics of using a contractor stack up?
  • Jill Hewitt, Chief Executive, NAAC
  • Matt Redman, Matt Redman Agriculture
Advice from the experts about how to assess if a farm business could benefit working with a contractor and the key things to consider.
Getting the next generation working in agriculture
  • Guy Moreton, Executive chair, Morepeople
Panel discussion headed up by recruitment specialist Guy Moreton looking at how to recruit the next generation across the whole supply chain.
EasyCrypto presents
  • Josh Riddett, Chief executive, EasyCrypto
Open discussion around how farms can diversify to GPU compute and generate passive income. Find out about the cryptocurrency sector as well as the operations and earnings of operational sites.
Efficiency is king
  • Jeff Claydon, Chief executive, Claydon Drills
  • Luker Sayer, Content manager, YAGRO
  • Harry Middleditch, Farm manager, DF Middleditch & Son
An open discussion around how both software and hardware can help arable enterprises maximise every hectare. Harry Middleditch will offer share some bots-on-the-ground experience.
What’s happening in global grain markets and where next for UK prices?
  • Charlie Reeve, Business reporter, Farmers Weekly
An update from grain traders and market experts – AHDB, Cefetra UK, and United Oilseeds – on the latest developments in global grain markets and how this is influencing farmgate prices in the UK.
Green premiums: What are their future prospects?
  • Andrew Meredith, Editor, Farmers Weekly
Advice and an update from speakers from the oat, barley and wheat markets about green initiatives and how growers can be incentivised to producer greener crops in the future.
From seed to shelf: BrewBoard Case Study
  • Nick Tregidgo, Lead brewer & microbiologist, BrewBoard
A special case study following beer brewing from variety selection through to the retail shelf.