Feeding the Future: Can we protect crops sustainably? Day 2

CHAP Marketing Manager, Darren Hassall summarises the highlights of the second day.

The format for day two was different to to the first day as sessions were held simultaneously in four breakout rooms.

Room A showcased six leading figures from the sector. There were presentations from CHAP’s own Dr Ruth Bastow, Professor Neil Boonham from the University of Newcastle, Fera’s Glyn Jones, Adrian Fox and Femke Van Den Berg, and Independent Agronomist and Governor of Harper Adams University, Debbie Winstanley. All six gave interesting insights into what inspired them to follow their chosen career paths.

Room B’s presentations focused on three of CHAP’s own capabilities. Richard Glass, CHAP’s Innovation Sector Lead showcased the Advanced Glasshouse Facility at Stockbridge Technology Centre, CHAP Research Associate Kaisa Kantola presented on the Innovation Hub for Controlled Environment Agriculture (IHCEA), developed in partnership with Liberty Produce at James Hutton Institute. The final session saw Fera’s Dr Rachel Benstead talking about the E-Flows Mesocosm,  a realistic, closely controlled, facsimile of edge-of-field waterbodies that can be exposed to plant protection products in real-world scenarios to ensure the safety of aquatic habitats.

Room C was a commercial demo/exhibit area where Fera’s Femke Van Den Berg gave a live demo of CropMonitor Pro. Scott Hawley from conference co-organiser and CHAP member Enviresearch demoed their latest platform and Sam Watson Jones, Co-Founder of Small Robot Company presented a video showcasing its disruptive technology.

Finally Room D enabled delegates to discover some of the brightest academics in the industry, as six students presented their current projects in a close-run competition. Mirjam Seeliger from the University of Newcastle triumphed with her presentation on optimizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associations with wheat. All judges agreed her talk was clear with a strong narrative and her experiments were well-organised and well-developed.

Day two was packed with engaging and informative content and the range of speakers and multi-room format was a great success. We are already looking forward to next year.

 

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