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NEWS: NIAB celebrates 100 years of plant science at Cereals 2019

23 April 2019

NIAB CentenaryThe past, present and future of plant science takes centre stage at the NIAB stand at the 2019 Cereals Event, on 12th and 13th June in Lincolnshire, with nearly 120 different crop and variety plots celebrating the organisation’s centenary year.

NIAB (stand 531) features the show’s largest independent winter wheat and winter oilseed rape plot demonstration, with current varieties and candidates from the AHDB 2019/20 Recommended List. But the past is also celebrated, with visitors able to take a step back in time with some of the most popular winter wheat varieties from each decade of the past century.

NIAB’s Technical Director Bill Clark says: “Our untreated variety demo plots are a top attraction at Cereals, giving growers a head start on their variety selection for next season, with differences in disease resistance and performance between the varieties clearly evident. NIAB TAG specialists are on hand to provide expert, independent advice and comment on variety choice across all cereal, oilseed and pulse crops.

“But this year our variety demonstration has an added bonus. From Squareheads Master to Slejpner, Capelle Desprez to Claire, our heritage variety plots are a superb visual record of how plant breeding has changed the size, shape, yield, quality and agronomy of wheat varieties alongside possible developments in wheat varieties in the near future. I am sure there will be plenty of growers stopping and reminiscing over these plots. Plus the varieties are part of the fabric of NIAB’s history; each with its own story to tell on how the organisation has influenced either the variety’s breeding, seed production and certification, recommendation or agronomy.”NIAB at the 2018 Cereals Event

As part of these Centenary celebrations, NIAB will be announcing two ‘once in a lifetime’ winners of its prestigious Cereals Cup and Variety Cup. This year the NIAB Cereals Cup will be awarded to the most outstanding UK wheat variety from the past 100 years and the Variety Cup to the most outstanding UK variety in any other crop.

The peek into varieties past does not stop there. Visitors can trace the development of yellow rust in the UK over the past 35 years across a range of wheat varieties, including Brigadier, Robigus, Invicta and Solstice, each showing the disease race that, in some cases, shortened their market life. Then there is a look to the future with the NIAB UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey team showing how recent developments in pathology research and field pathogenomics are aiding the fight against new races, particularly of yellow rust.

The NIAB stand at the Cereals Event is known for providing the latest technical advice and research in variety choice, independent agronomy, soil and rotation management, crop genetics and data science. Additional exhibits in 2019 include:

  • a century of plant science; how NIAB has influenced UK farming since 1919, from seed certification to advances in plant breeding, via field trials and the Recommended List;
  • NIAB crop research; using new plant breeding tools and technologies to help shape the future of our crops, including nitrogen use efficiency. From GM to gene-editing, re-synthesis to MAGIC – our demonstration plots show how wheat breeding research, and the use of new techniques, is improving the yield, efficiency and resilience of global crop production;
  • the latest information on new fungicide chemistry and strategies to protect fungicide efficacy, with a focus on septoria in wheat;
  • advice on crop protection and nutrition, farming systems, weed control, soils and cultivation and variety evaluation;
  • research and information on cultivations, tillage and soil management from NIAB specialists, including a range of cultivation machinery and specialist soil investigative equipment at the Cereals Event soil pit;
  • impact of technology on crop management, including the use of modelling tools, big data, crowd-sourcing and precision farming techniques with NIAB Digital;
  • plant disease research and new diagnostic techniques in field beans;
  • improving skills development in the arable sectors - transferring the latest innovations and developments in crop research, knowledge and legislation into practice on farm with a range of practical and online courses;
  • NIAB TAG Membership services including the latest crop production advice and farmer-led research, field days, agronomy trials results, unique regional variety information and weekly agronomy updates through the season.

NIAB at Cereals Event