Arable Scotland, the premier event for the Scottish arable industry, returns on 29th June 2021. Now in its third year, the event brings together the key players in food production, academia and farming to discuss key issues and provide a wealth of information to support the arable farming industry.
Focusing on the topics of alternative markets and new cash crops, integrated pest management, sustainable crop rotations and reaching net-zero, the online programme will share the latest research and technical information and offer analysis from industry experts. This year's event will again take place online following on from the successful virtual event held last year.
The challenges of the past couple of years have been very significant; everything from COVID-19 and Brexit to market uncertainty and extreme weather conditions have tested the resilience of Scotland’s arable production businesses. To address some of these challenges, a series of ‘Arable Conversations’ webinars will take place across the day and discuss the following four topics:
- Alternative Markets and New Cash Crops (11:30 am) – led by Chris Leslie (AHDB). Panellists: Robert Ramsay (SoilEssentials), James Webster (AHDB), Julian Bell (SRUC) and Wendy Russell (Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen). The session will cover the seasons market potential and the current rollercoaster grain prices. New crops being trialled in Scotland, opening new doors and opportunities for the cereals sector will also feature.
- Integrated Pest Management - Deriving the Benefits (1:00 pm) - led by Fiona Burnett (SRUC). Panellists: Caroline Drummond (LEAF), Andrew Moir (Arable Sector Climate Group) and David Howard (Hutchinsons). This session will discuss the future direction of integrated pest management and the wider links with climate and environmental challenges. Loss of pesticides are one driver for adopting more alternative practices to protect crops against plant health threats; but what are the emerging technologies that can help and how can we link crop health needs with other policies such as meeting net-zero targets?
- Sustainable Rotations - Soils, Integrating Legumes, Cover Crops and Cash Crops (4:00 pm) - led by Tracy Valentine (James Hutton Institute). Panellists: Pete Iannetta (James Hutton Institute), Ed Brown (Hutchinsons), Dick Neale (Hutchinsons), Christine Watson (SRUC) and Paul Hargreaves (SRUC). This session will explore the development of sustainable rotations with experts in sustainable practices and rotations in both arable and grassland pasture systems. The panel will discuss the challenges and benefits of implementing sustainable rotations, including options for diversification and implementing different sustainable soil management systems.
- Net-Zero - Making Carbon Pay (6:00 pm) - led by Ken Loades (SEFARI). Panellists: Alison Milne (Crafty Maltsters), Matt Ward (Hutchinsons), Matt Aitkenhead (James Hutton Institute) and David Aglen (Balbirnie Home Farms). The session will discuss net-zero and the challenges ahead in achieving this; experts will give opinions on tools for farm-scale carbon accounting, their limitations, future needs, and the potential of future technologies.
Delegates can take part in the Arable Conversations discussion by using the hashtag #ArableScotland on Twitter to submit questions during the sessions.
In addition to the live webinar sessions held throughout the day, the Arable Scotland website will feature a wealth of information and technical documents supplied by a range of organisations closely connected to the arable farming industry in Scotland. This information will be accessible during and after the event.
Arable Scotland is delivered in partnership by the James Hutton Institute, Scotland's Rural College and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), with support from the Farm Advisory Service, SEFARI, The Scottish Farmer, Hutchinsons and the Scottish Society for Crop Research. Commercial exhibitors present at the event include Yara, Chap Solutions, SoilEssentials, Corteva and Smart Rural.
The event is free to attend, and visitor registration is open at https://hopin.com/events/arable-scotland. More information about the event is available at www.arablescotland.org.uk. Five BASIS points will be available to delegates.
An online press briefing is being held on 28 June, the day before the event. Journalists are welcome to attend; please RSVP to Bernardo.RodriguezSalcedo@hutton.ac.uk to receive details on how to join.