A number of pest control people were spotted at agricultures leading arable event this week either as exhibitors, visiting customers or just having a good look around.
Held just south of Cambridge on 9 and 10 of June, Cereals 2010 is the leading technical event for the arable industry.
With the emphasis on real live demonstration – be it growing crops or demonstrating machinery – the whole event is enormous. Stretching over 64 ha it includes well over 400 exhibitors.
In total, nearly 30,000 farmers and industry professionals flock to this event, including the new Defra Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman MP.
But it wasn’t all about growing crops – all facets of farm requirements were covered – including pest control.
Lodi for example, originally started out life in France in the grain protectant sector. Today it is perhaps equally well-known in agriculture as it is in pest control with their range of Raco rodenticides in addition to grain store protectant insecticides, such as K-Obiol. Robert Lockman was over from France, keeping Roger Simpson company on their stand.
Virtually all pest controllers will be well aware of Bayer Environmental Science products – Maxforce and the like – but their corporate cousins in Bayer Crop Science are far larger siblings. However Alan Morris and Austin Davies were on their stand meeting customers.
The various rabbit and mole burrow-blasting machines have received something of a bad press in the pest control world, but within agriculture their sales are buoyant and the stand demonstrating the Rodentator was kept busy.
With so much on show its hardly surprising other members of the industry were visiting to see what was going on.
Peter Fielding from Killgerm said it was the third year running he had been to the event. This year he was accompanied by area sales managers Dan Gaskin and John Stacey.
What goes on in agriculture certainly has an effect on pest control, so it was interesting to hear what the industry leaders had to say. NFU President Peter Kendall made an impassioned plea when saying that science is vital to the future of the UK’s cereal production so as to increase efficiency of production.
Event sponsors HSBC organised an agricultural version of Question Time with none other than the BBC’s John Humphrys in the chair.
The audience was asked to submit questions in advance which would be answered by a panel of industry leaders. These included Mark Berrisford-Smith, the senior economist at HSBC. Two comments he made have direct relevance to our sector.
In the first, he pointed out that as the new Coalition government had declared certain departments were ‘ring fenced’ as far as spending cuts were concerned, this meant a disproportionate share of cut-backs would have to be taken elsewhere.
Second, whilst we might all be worried about cut-backs in services within Local government, this did provide an opportunity for private enterprise.
Roger with phone welded to his ear!
Alan and Austin on the Bayer stand
Farmers checking-out the Rodenator