Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Cereals 2010

One of the biggest Arable events of the year is based in a farm not too far from Cambridge.
Who's it for? Anyone really, but you'll get most out of it if you can tell your wheat from your oil seed rape.

Unlike other agricultural shows where you would expect animals to be parading up and down in front of judges, Arable 2010 has quite a different feel. Patches of test crops lay in the ground. Rows of sugar beat that have different fertilisers on them. As some of the crops have been planted over a year ago, much more preparation goes into this event than I first thought. Squares of test crops where arable companies can show case their very best products. To add to the numerous crop science and agronomist stands, the show is punctuated with talks and conferences from the finest of the farming world. Debating GM crops, cash crops and the future of the arable sector.
Even the brand new Agriculture Minister Jim Paice put on his wellies and came down to the show.

I think the biggest buzz of the event was GM crops. It seems that farmers are for it but it's still the consumers and supermarkets that have to be persuaded. GM crops can be hardy, disease free and produce maintained high yields. Yet the grey cloud that surrounds the "frankenstein" food has not been pierced. Recently a GM crop of potatoes have been planted in Norfolk which can withstand against blite. It's caused a lot of controversy but it hasn't seemed to dampen the scientists enthusiasm to GM test.
But it wasn't just GM that was on the minds of the people at Cereals 2010. It's the ever changing markets and the fear of a world food shortage that encroach as well. The answer? The goal posts always seem to move in the Farming world.

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