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Dreaming of an Agri-Tech Christmas

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Christmas is coming, and the agricultural industry is anticipating some gifts under the tree. Three wise experts in plant breeding, agri-engineering and agronomy will be sharing their wish lists for a more productive and profitable 2017, at the festive finale of Agri-Tech East’s 2016 ‘Pollinator’ series – ‘Christmas is Coming: An Agri-Tech Wish List for Santa’ – on 14th December.

Whether it is banishing the panto villain Count Blackgrass from the kingdom, or access to a handful of seeds to grow a beanstalk that fixes nitrogen and gives great yields, farmers, researchers and technologists are encouraged to get into the panto-inspired spirit over mulled wine and mince pies.

Penny Maplestone, CEO of the British Society of Plant Breeders, would like to see into the future. She explains: “Plant breeders have to forecast what the market is going to look like in five to ten years when developing a new variety. I would like to see into the future, to gain an understanding of what the farmer and end user would like to see.”

Ruth Bailey, Director General of the Agricultural Engineering Association, says: “My wish would be to find lots of bright and enthusiastic young people who want to be involved in agricultural engineering and who we can attract to become the technicians of the future. This high-tech industry can offer fantastic career opportunities and I’m not sure people know about this.”

“I’m looking forward to new seed technology,” explains Jack Harris, Precision Farming Specialist at Agrovista. “For example, if you have an area of a field which gets very dry and loses water, instead of increasing/decreasing seed rates why not have two hoppers on the drill - one with a drought tolerant variety and one with a normal variety.”

Come along on the 14th December to hear more wishes from the experts at Agri-Tech East’s ‘Christmas is Coming: An Agri-Tech Wish List for Santa’ Pollinator, which is sponsored and hosted by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association at the Norfolk Showground, Dereham Road, Norwich, NR5 0TT. The event begins at 4pm and will be chaired by Robert Sheasby, Regional Director of the National Farmers' Union. The event is free to RNAA members.

To register, please visit the Agri-Tech East website: www.agritech-east.co.uk/events/christmas-is-coming