The world continues to need high levels of crop production. These crops need to be protected, in a sustainable way, from the various threats to high yields. The threats are both biological (insects, diseases and weeds) and non-biological (climate and soil). Demands and threats are higher than ever before in human history, as is our understanding of the negative impacts of chemical pest control (for example on biodiversity, water quality and resistance). In this context, the controls on chemical pesticides have steadily increased and many active substances that were commonplace a decade ago are no longer available.
The coming years are likely to see further reductions in the range of substances used. Against this background, the future of crop protection will need to look to a combination of established and innovative technologies. This conference will detail our best estimates of the pressures on crop production in the future and lay out the state of the art in a range of the available technologies: Data-driven farming; Chemistry; Biology and Genetics. The integration of the available techniques into a coherent crop management system will require a great deal from the farmers and growers.
The conference will consist of 2 parts. On the Monday and Wednesday, we will consider the constraints and solutions regarding the adoption of integrated systems for crop protection. Our projections of the future will be laid out by the leaders in their respective fields, illustrated with vivid recent case studies and with extended time for questions and discussion.
On the Tuesday, we will offer opportunities to learn and discover more about the crop protection industry. There will be commercial demonstrations of new technologies, live virtual tours of research facilities, opportunities to learn new skills and have discussions with the scientific leaders of today.
This conference is geared to all those working in the area of crop protection: farmers and growers; innovation start-up companies; established large corporations; academic researchers; and regulators. It will be especially appropriate for those working in:
• areas of drones / AI / robotics / machine vision on farms;
• chemistry of crop protection, whether generic or new active substances;
• biology of crop protection, such as biostimulants or biopesticides;
• genetics of crop protection, breeding, gene editing and beneficial traits;
• promotion of good agricultural practice and agronomy;
• financing of new solutions, such as banks and venture capitalists;
• growing or farming for whom the issues of crop protection are real and present.
Monday 5 October
Factors affecting the spread of pests and diseases
Richard Maycock, Senior Science Advisor, Corteva Agriscience
Tuesday 6 October
We will be hosting a range of fun and interactive events and exhibits throughout the afternoon to appeal to students and early-career scientists and engineers in all aspects of crop protection. There will be opportunities to interview key people in the industry, training events on technical skills, demonstrations of technologies and tours of research facilities around the UK. Details to follow.
Wednesday 7 October
The future of chemistry in crop protection
Dave Hughes, Global Head of Technology Scouting, Syngenta
Biological crop protection solutions
Belinda Luke, Principal Scientist, Biopesticides Team, CABI