Cereals 2024 – a guide to this year's event

05 June 2024

A picture of the NFU's and NFU Mutual's branded marquee during Cereals event in 2023. The picture is taken on a sunny day with blue skies.

1,800 members visited the NFU's marquee during the Cereals event in 2023.

Despite unseasonable weather playing havoc with crops, the arable industry's key event, Cereals, will take place in the Hertfordshire countryside on 11 and 12 June. We take a look at a packed agenda on the NFU stand, as well as some of the usual favourites and exciting new attractions. 

The NFU is looking forward to an action packed two days of networking and genning up on the latest crop developments at Cereals, taking place 11-12 June 2024 at Newnham, Hertfordshire.

The mood at this year's event is bound to be very different from previous years due to the fact that many farmers are still counting the costs of winter weather that has led to soil becoming so waterlogged that many crops have not even been planted.

Ticket offer for NFU members

A limited number of free tickets are still available for members, saving you the cost of a day out at the event. To get yours visit: Get your member-exclusive free ticket to Cereals.

Visit us on stand 229 and make the most of the expertise of our staff and board members. Once again, we're proud to be part of the Cereals Knowledge Trail and you can claim BASIS points when you visit our stand and complete the questionnaire.

You can also speak to a wealth of NFU advisers who will be there to help with your questions, as well as representatives from the NFU Combinable Crops Board and the NFU Sugar Board.

And you can speak to the NFU Mutual* to discuss a wide range of products and services, farm, life and general insurance, pensions, and investments, all delivered through local agency offices.

A packed programme of events

NFU President Tom Bradshaw will open the event on the main stage on day one.

The NFU stand will have Q&A sessions with members of the NFU Combinable Crops Board, NFU staff, as well as the return of the popular NFU Sugar Hour.

As part of the stand’s programme of events, NFU senior policy specialist Luke Cox and members of the NFU Combinable Crops Board will discuss the Digital Passport and the ongoing work of the NFU.

NFU senior countryside adviser Claire Robinson will give visitors an update on ELMs (Environmental Land Management schemes), highlighting the latest changes and explaining what they mean for your farm.

The 2023-24 cohort of the Cereals Development Programme will share their learning on alternative crops as part of the scheme. This will be followed by an awards ceremony hosted by NFU and Openfield.

Day one will close with the NFU Crops Contract Fairness Hub, which urges members to report claims and rejections to support the NFU in improving fairness across the supply chain by providing vital evidence.

We’re gathering evidence in relation to incidents where lorry loads of crops (wheat, barley, oil seed rape, oats, beans or peas) have been subjected to a claim, allowance or rejection issue since 2019.

Visit our stand on day two for a session hosted by the NFU’s Alison Warrington and Chris Hartfield on the development of the National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides and Defra’s work around the anticipated launch of the blueprint.

NFU members: Get your free ticket and see the full agenda for the NFU stand at: Get your member-exclusive free ticket to Cereals.

In the afternoon, as part of the Cereals Dirt and Discovery Programme, NFU Education will welcome 60 local secondary school students to a guided tour of the event with bespoke interactive sessions.

Led by a variety of exhibitors, the tour will cover topics such as soil science, the use of drones and robotics in agriculture, and cutting-edge farm machinery.

New innovations and niche crops

There will also be opportunities to interact with role models from the world of farming. Cereals visitors will get access to the very latest in crop breeding, protection, nutrition, and science over more than 600 individual crop plots from 25 exhibitors.

“The plots will allow visitors to see first-hand varieties, nutrition, biological products and inputs, as well as new innovations and niche crops. And there are more exhibitors than ever – it’s a great opportunity to see all they have to offer in one place.”

Will Davies, farming consultant at Ceres Rural

“The crop plots are looking well,” said Will Davies, a farming consultant at Ceres Rural, who has overseen their agronomy and management.

“The site has coped well with a challenging growing period, which is a credit to site manager Jonathan Backhouse, NIAB’s Shawn Coleman and our host farmers Alex Farr and Edward Wainright Lee.

“The plots will allow visitors to see first-hand varieties, nutrition, biological products and inputs, as well as new innovations and niche crops. And there are more exhibitors than ever – it’s a great opportunity to see all they have to offer in one place.”

Ceres Rural will be on hand to guide visitors though the event’s popular winter wheat and barley feature, as well as offering independent advice to visitors.

Rothamsted Research is also present with plots and scientists showcasing some of the institute’s latest research in crop breeding, gene editing, pathology and regenerative agriculture.

Many leading seed companies are set to launch new varieties of barley, wheat and oilseed rape as well as cover crops and environmental mixtures.

And there are six plots of Catchment Sensitive Farming options on display to demonstrate some of the SFI options available to farmers.

*This year NFU Mutual is proud to support the UK Sepsis Trust.

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