Major Northern Ireland arable conference, the Agronomy and Business Management Conference for Arable Growers, is set to go digital for 2021.

This online event, which is jointly organised by the College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), the Ulster Arable Society and the Ulster Farmers' Union, will cover cereals, vegetable and potatoes.

The conference will be held over two webinars - the first being a question and answer session with the regions Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots.

The event will provide attendees with the opportunity to hear directly from the minister at a time of unprecedented change in the industry and put their questions to him during the event.

The hour-long event will be screened live via Zoom on January 20 beginning at 11:00am.

The second event will be held in early February and will be a more technical event. The date and programme for this event will be confirmed early in the New Year.

2021 marks the ninth year of the conference, which was launched in 2012.

Those interested in attending must register in advance on the bookings page on the UFU website. BASIS points and NRoSO points can be applied for the event.

The latest results from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Agricultural Census showed the total area of cereals grown in 2020 was down by 3% compared to 2019 at 29,100ha.

Wheat crops fell by 14% to 7,000ha, oats while winter barley remained broadly the same. Spring barley rose by 4% to 12,400ha.