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Farming: Agronomy roadshow return to Aberdeenshire in January

By David Porter

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AHDB’s popular annual agronomy roadshow offers an evidence-based approach to productive and sustainable arable systems and deliver the latest arable research.

They take place at venues in the Borders, Perthshire and Aberdeenshire during January with the local date on January 16 at Thainstone House Hotel, Inverurie.

The free one-day events will cover a range of topics relevant to farm businesses and present the latest updates from the Recommended List and varieties performance.

AHDB will lead a session on new breeding policies for cereals and oilseeds, and there will also be updates on the latest agronomy and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Speakers from SRUC and AHDB will present field trial results from the 2023 season to help inform attendees how variety, fertiliser and fungicide choices can be adjusted for the 2024 season.

One of the main topics of research work highlighted at the roadshows will look at the performance of individual fungicides and how this translates into adjustments to fungicide programmes. Crop selection and variety performance, optimising fertiliser inputs and IPM planning will also be covered.

Crop choices and varieties that align with cereals markets are key to margins and, with world demand and prices high, a market update and advice on selling strategies from SAC, together with an update on Scottish Agricultural Policy from Scottish Land and Estates will aid decision making.

Increasing biodiversity improves productivity and profits. Lorna Cole from SAC will look at what farmers are aiming to improve and investigate the benefits of different agroecological approaches.

The programme will include regionally relevant speakers and discussions with stakeholders from across the arable industry in Scotland. The day will finish with a workshop on the benefits of different agroecological approaches.

Jenna Watts, AHDB's Head of Crop Health and Integrated Pest Management, said: “These are fantastic events which bring together a wide range of important crop management information.

"This year we will feature the results of the recent Recommended List (RL) review and discuss what changes and developments we may see in breeding priorities and the RL in the future. We’re also keen to hear further feedback on the RL at these events.”

Fiona Burnett, Professor Applied Plant Pathology, SRUC, said: “'Balancing crop production with measures which enhance the environment is challenging and needs hard evidence.

"The roadshows bring the best available research on which varieties, systems and inputs work best and combines that with practical experience of what works on farms. With sessions on the market and the Scottish policy context too the roadshows remain the one stop shop for annual updates and advice for the arable sector.”

The events are free to attend but numbers are limited, so please book in advance to reserve a place. NRSO and BASIS points are available.

To see the full programme visit www.ahdb.org.uk/events

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