Serving the Farming Industry across the Midlands for 35 Years
Wheat disease management will form the basis of the NIAB stand at Cereals, with advice on hand to aid decision-making on varietal, cultural and...

Wheat disease management will form the basis of the NIAB stand at Cereals, with advice on hand to aid decision-making on varietal, cultural and chemical control.

NIAB will have 125 different crop and variety plots on display at the two-day event. They will include 32 winter wheat and 16 winter oilseed rape varieties – either already established or candidates for the AHDB 2022/23 Recommended List.

This year, the stand features plots showcasing fungicide inputs versus yield in winter wheat, a comparison of new cereal fungicides and – for the first time – treated and untreated wheat variety blends.

NIAB agronomy director Stuart Knight says: “Our untreated winter wheat variety demo plots are always a top attraction, giving growers a head start on their variety selection for next season, with differences in disease susceptibility clearly evident.

Variety blends

“The demo is complemented by the new variety blends feature, enabling visitors to assess whether bringing together the resistance profiles of several wheat varieties could potentially reduce disease, improve resilience and increase yield.”

The focus on disease continues in the plant pathology plots. They will showcase the latest developments on yellow rust with the UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey team and a look at varietal resistance to septoria, alongside disease diagnostics and imaging.

NIAB will also showcase a range of protein crops, including lupins, peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas and soya. A pulse pre-breeding programme aims to unlock the healthy-eating potential of these protein crops.

“Demo plots will explore research work on legume crop improvement, alongside  opportunities for crop diversification, lowering inputs on farm and new market prospects as a plant-derived protein source in food and animal feed.”

Soil hole

The 20m-long NIAB Soil Hole is back again. It will be demonstrating the benefits of soil monitoring – including the what, how, when and why, says Elizabeth Stockdale, NIAB’s head of farming systems.

This will include a demonstration of an automated soil sampling robot from the Small Robot Company, which is working with a consortium led by PES Technologies including NIAB, alongside a working soil sequencing display.

“We will be highlighting how to use collected data to inform decisions. It is not just a question of gathering data – we need to make good choices based on it.”

Some soil parameters will be measured in the Soil Hole during the event. “These include physical structure, water management and biological activity,” says Dr Stockdale. “Other samples will have been taken in advance of the show.”

NIAB has compacted some tramlines and will cut down some wheat plots a couple of weeks before the show to give us a stubble field, so we can demonstrate the recommended sampling point for general rotational soil health sampling.