The arable sector has challenging times ahead, but the resounding message from CropTec’s 10th anniversary show last week was that there are numerous opportunities for farmers to improve efficiencies and embrace new markets.

The event, held at East of England Arena in Peterborough, brought together growers, agronomists, advisors and technical experts over two days for seminars, discussion and networking across three busy exhibition halls.

Harvest 2022 had generally been favourable with strong prices offsetting rising input prices, but next year will be “a very different story” said Harry Henderson of AHDB who spoke in the opening seminar.

“The increased input prices will come home to roost with the crops in the ground this autumn and next spring.”

Net margins would be considerably lower, and losses were expected for spring barley and oilseed rape crops.

Reducing and making best use of inputs need to be central to plans going forward for arable farmers.

“One thing is clear, we need to retain more inputs on the farm and not lose them through leaching and erosion,” said George Cook, Senior Farm Business Consultant with Andersons.

With growers coming under increasing regulatory pressure, strategies to tackle the disease burden and help farmers better target their chemical inputs came under the spotlight in a seminar.

Mark Tucker, marketing and agronomy manager for Yara Europe said:

“For us, crop nutrition is the number one issue on advisors’ minds, especially nitrogen as it is a big driver of yield and therefore profitability.”