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Arable Scotland event returns to Dundee with a focus on the new era of farming

Arable Scotland event returns to Dundee with a focus on the new era of farming

Arable Scotland event
June 13, 2024

The James Hutton Institute (the Hutton) and AHDB (the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) is welcoming those with an interest in the arable sector back to Balruddery Farm in Dundee on 2 July 2024 for the sixth annual Arable Scotland event.

This year’s theme of ‘Arable farming in a new era’, will allow attendees to dive into innovative practices for sustainable and resilient farming.  

The all-day field event will include two ‘Arable Conversations’ focussing on key topics affecting the industry, as well as workshops and working machinery demonstrations, alongside research and industry exhibits. There will also be a series of seminars chaired by David Webster, Chief Executive of LEAF UK to encourage discussion about the future of arable farming.

Highlights of the programme include:

  • Short practical workshops on ‘Soil quality assessment’ with Emma Willis (AHDB), ‘Maximising the benefits of integrated management practices’ with Professor Fiona Burnett (SRUC) and Dr Neal Evans (Voluntary Initiative), and ‘Crop assessment in research trials’ with Sebastian Raubach (Hutton).
  • A panel discussion on farming practices that create resilience in Scottish arable systems chaired by Elizabeth Massie, a farmer from East Lothian.
  • How can farmers quantify natural capital on their land, and how will they be rewarded for preserving and improving their natural capital? A conversation chaired by Dr. Clive Mitchell (NatureScot).
  • Novel and minor crops – their potential in Scotland’ by The James Hutton Institute’s Professor Derek Stewart, Director of the Advanced Plant Growth Centre. This seminar will explore farming’s adaption to a changing climate and policy landscape and the opportunities arising in expanding minor crops.
  • Making soils resilient to extreme weather’, a seminar with Dr. Kenneth Loades, Research Leader in Ecological Sciences at the Hutton, looking at the long-term management practices required and the balanced and varied approach needed to broach this.
  • The benefits and constraints of incorporating grazing animals into a soil regenerative approach?’ seminar with Frédéric Thomas, one of the founders of BASE-France and a pioneer of conservation agriculture.
  • An insight into the work of the International Barley Hub (IBH), a seminar with Professor Robbie Waugh, Director of the IBH which brings together top scientists in barley to deliver step changes in barley research, production and use, and resilience across the supply and value chains.
  • Optional end-of-day tour of the Centre for Sustainable Cropping at the James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm.

Speaking about the event, Dr. Alison Karley, Research Leader in Agroecology at the James Hutton Institute, said: “Our farming future is entering a new era, with a variety of factors changing the outlook of the arable sector. Agriculture is already having to cope with climatic shifts, while at the same time trying to reduce its environmental impact, its contributions to further climate change, and still turning a profit.

“Arable Scotland offers a unique platform in Scotland for knowledge exchange and inspiration, between farmers, agronomists, suppliers, processors and scientists - encouraging the adoption of practices that enhance sustainability and resilience in farming.

“There will be something for everyone - whether you’re involved in agriculture, the supply chain, processing, food produce, research, or just want to find out more.

“We thank our long-term sponsors, SEFARI Gateway, the Scottish Society for Crop Research and Scotland’s Rural College, and our annual sponsors for their support.”

Adrian James from AHDB said: “The event continues to provide valuable previews into what the future of arable farming in Scotland might look like. Each year we try to improve the event and this year is no different with excellent seminars and speakers along with working demos and companies exhibiting some of the latest technology in arable farming. It offers excellent opportunities for knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange.

“Farmers and growers will get the opportunity to have a look at the latest RL varieties and ask questions from the AHDB RL team who will be onsite to conduct tours of the plots throughout the day. Alongside many other interesting plot trials.

“There can be no better free to attend event in Scotland for arable farmers.”

Arable Scotland will take place from 9am to 4pm on Tuesday, July 2 at the James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm, Dundee. Tickets are available via Eventbrite

Issued on behalf of the James Hutton Institute by Clark Communications. For media enquiries, please contact: Gregor Millar – / 07515 876303

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