Northern Conference to Deliver Outlook on UK Science and Farming Future
The 2019 NIAB TAG Outlook Conference takes place just six weeks before the UK deadline for leaving the EU, with the future of science and agriculture top of the agenda for the popular biennial agri-food event.
Ticket bookings are now being taken for the Conference on Wednesday 13th February 2019, held at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Co Durham. The event is open to anyone involved in the food and farming sectors and features the latest analysis and opinion from speakers from across the agri-food industry.
“There may never be a more exciting and challenging time in UK agriculture than in the coming few years,” says the event’s organiser Patrick Stephenson, NIAB TAG’s northern regional agronomist. “The NIAB TAG Outlook Conference is an opportunity to participate in a full and frank discussion about our farming and science future. And we are delighted to be kicking-off NIAB’s 2019 centenary celebrations, the first event of many across the year marking 100 years of plant research and advice at NIAB, alongside championing the role science plays in agriculture’s evolution.”
The Conference will outline some of the likely post-Brexit changes in policy, economics, markets, technology and science and resulting impact on UK farming. “Whatever the outcome of our departure from the European Union a tide has been set in motion that will change the agricultural landscape. Not since joining the EU have we ever seen the types of opportunities and threats that these changes may bring,” says Mr Stephenson.
NIAB’s Technical Director Bill Clark opens the Conference with an assessment of the impact of the past 100 years of plant science, setting the scene in addressing the role of agri-science in the future. Moving onto politics and economics a speaker from Government will update delegates on the latest news on future agricultural, food and science policy, followed by Stephen Blackman, senior economist with NatWest. Simon Christensen, Grain Director at agricultural merchant Frontier will take a look at the commodity markets alongside a farmer’s view of the industry from Farmers Weekly columnist Andy Barr.
Science and technology takes centre stage in the afternoon with NIAB’s Dr Phil Howell outlining how innovation in plant breeding can improve crop production, with presentations on future technologies from Syngenta’s Sam Stephenson and a look at how the farming industry adopts new technologies and ideas from Newcastle University’s Professor Lynn Frewer. Additional speakers include GWCT’s Dr Alastair Leake, agricultural valuer Jeremy Moody and independent crop nutrition consultant Dr George Fisher.