All ears for first news
from Cereals '23
The arable event Cereals is at Thoresby Estate, near Newark this week. Quite a roll-call of exhibitors and speakers are there, and so is AF Head of Crop Inputs Matt Kealey who reports what he’s seen and heard so far.
How is the overall Cereals experience?
“Heavy footfall, lots of exhibitors: the show has found itself after a couple of muted years post-pandemic.” Matt reports a positive vibe for the show itself and general optimism for the coming months on farm.
Apart from all the visitors and exhibitors in the current heat, there’s noticeably lot of interest in renewable energy. Visitors are spending a lot of time at stands offering wind & solar power. Clearly, continued high energy prices are leading visitors to look at better value, and perhaps the requirement to cut carbon emissions is another factor.
The machinery buzz is around robotics and smart machinery, with strong interest in demonstrations and equipment on show. This ranges from precision farming to self-driving vehicles. Farmers want to cut inputs, reduce wastage and ultimately lower costs. Developments in technology are making impressive strides.
What’s not so hot?
On the face of it, regenerative and sustainable farming are not so evident at Cereals. Dig a little deeper and there are sessions about some aspects of measuring and managing soil health, for example. But some Cereals exhibitors and visitors will find themselves together at the Groundswell Festival in a fortnight.
What’s the vibe of conversations with AF?
“General optimistic.”, says our Matt Kealey. “But everyone wants at least 30mm of rain before the combines hit the fields. Some disappointment with futures prices and concern over the continuing high cost of energy and fuel.”
At the end of the day…
It’s great to hear that Cereals has found its feet again. There is obviously a lot of innovation and technology improvements on display, alongside show favourites which have made a comeback in ‘23. It’s encouraging that high visitor and exhibitor numbers are taking part, enjoying good weather as they learn and share ideas.