Arable research day well attended

PGG Wrightson’s Steve Shorter and FAR’s Jo Drummond talk at Crops 2020the field day. PHOTOS: TONI...
PGG Wrightson’s Steve Shorter and FAR’s Jo Drummond talk at Crops 2020the field day. PHOTOS: TONI WILLIAMS
Hundreds of people turned out to the Foundation for Arable Research’s (FAR) annual Crops 2020 field day at Chertsey earlier this month.

It was touted as Canterbury’s biggest farming event and one of the few agricultural industry gatherings to go ahead this year due to Covid-19.

There were a range of speakers, including Wakanui farmer Eric Watson, PGG Wrightson’s Steve Shorter, and Pure Oil’s Keith Gundry, as well as FAR’s own team, talking about the latest research for the future of New Zealand cropping.

The event is in its 25th year.

Farmers and industry personnel turned out to hear the speakers cover topics on soil protection, catch crops, nitrogen use, about new crop options and to learn practical "how to" messages to arable growers.

FAR chief executive Dr Alison Stewart said the arable industry’s importance to Kiwis was highlighted this year as Covid-19 lockdowns affected food supplies.

"New Zealand’s $2.1billion arable industry supplies key ingredients such as locally grown grains, which form an important part of many Kiwis’ diets. The team at FAR are proud to recognise the role of the arable farmers whose efforts fuel our local economy, particularly in times of hardship and disruption such as those experienced this year. Crops 2020 is our chance to acknowledge and applaud the resilience of our industry members,” Dr Stewart said.

Arable growers around the country supply grains and seeds for a wide range of bread and baked produce, beer and oils as well as providing critical grass seed and animal feed for the $20billion livestock industry.

Lincoln Agritech's Peter Carey talks at Crops 2020 about catch crops: creating win-wins for...
Lincoln Agritech's Peter Carey talks at Crops 2020 about catch crops: creating win-wins for farmers and the environment.

While remaining relatively unknown to their fellow Kiwis, the 11,500 workers employed in the sector were global leaders in the production of carrot, radish, ryegrass and white clover seed, as well as holding the world yield records for both wheat and barley.

"Crops 2020 provides a much needed social and educational event for our industry after a challenging year," she said.

FAR not only shared its research findings, but also sponsors’ machinery, cultivar, agrichemical and other product demonstrations.

The event was followed by a celebration dinner.

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