Cereals remains the only event that offers working demonstrations of spraying and cultivation equipment, crop plots to compare, on-site drone flying and the opportunity to see all the suppliers and advisers you need.[/caption]

We’re still working on the details of how the joint venture will influence Cereals 2017, but I think this kind of investment can only be good news for the sector, recognising the long-term growth potential of the event.


This year sees some exciting new and improved exhibits, with cutting-edge technology rubbing shoulders with practical advice. In response to feedback, we’re introducing knowledge trails, making it easier for visitors to find the technical information and advice they’re looking for. These will focus on adding value and cutting costs; managing blackgrass; precision and efficiency; getting the most from oilseed rape; plus business planning and Brexit.


We’ve also made the popular displays bigger and better than ever so you don’t have to fight through the crowds. The Soil Pit will now be a massive 20m long, and the Drone Zone will be split to include a huge cage for on-site displays with a nearby field hosting trial flights. The Specialist Crop Zone will explore how farmers can add value with niche crops, and the Fields of the Future exhibit will offer a Tomorrow’s World style glimpse into emerging technology.


Of course, Cereals 2017 will still feature the ever-popular trial sites and machinery demonstrations, with the Arable Conference focusing on the hot topics of the day. There’ll be new equipment, new varieties, and fresh business advice, alongside favourite old features and familiar faces.


Times are tight and marketing budgets are being squeezed, so we have to work harder than ever for our exhibitors and visitors. Advanced adult tickets are only £20 and students £12, so we reckon visitors really are getting value for money, particularly when they plan their day to get the most from what’s on offer.


And it’s that focus on value for the arable business that comes to the fore as Cereals 2017 approaches. Over the past decade, agricultural shows have moved towards two extremes: focusing on one specific area or expanding into different sectors. Cereals remains dedicated to the arable sector, while also providing a one-stop shop for visitors. No other event offers treated and untreated crop plots to compare, working demonstrations of cultivation and spraying equipment in real field scenarios, and on-site drone flying. In one day, visitors can see all the suppliers and advisers they need, without having to visit any other show.


Agriculture is changing, with all the threats and opportunities that brings. Yet our key message remains unchanged from the 1987 guide: “A day spent at Cereals could be one of the most cost-effective ways to spend your time this year, and you will reap the benefits this year and next.”

Jon Day has been event director of the Cereals event since 2008. The 2017 event takes place on 14-15 June at Boothby Graffoe, Lincs.