November 25, 2013

25/11/13: Focus on Phosphorus in Peterborough- the HGCA Agronomists' Conference

James Holmes discusses nutrients from
organic sources at the 2012 HGCA
Agronomists’ Conference
News courtesy of HGCA, a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

As part of this year’s theme of input management, the latest developments in phosphorus research will be discussed at the HGCA Agronomists’ conference on 10 December in Peterborough, UK.
Phosphorus is a major nutrient for all crops and an essential input for profitable crop production.
“The UK arable sector has made great advances in nutrient management over recent decades. This includes significant progress in reducing pollution associated with phosphorus use on farms,"
said James Holmes, research and KT manager at HGCA.

“However, a number of key issues remain and HGCA is tackling many of these through an innovative programme of research involving extensive collaboration with industry partners.

“We already know that some soils contain too little Phosphorus, whereas others are well supplied. Our research is scrutinising Phosphorus management advice to make sure that the most appropriate target Phosphorus level can be set and that the grower has the tools to hit the target.”
What's involved?
At the conference, which regularly attracts around 300 delegates, Mr Holmes will look at how research is helping to provide answers to some critical questions, including:
 - Is a target Phosphorus index of 2 appropriate for all soil types?
 - Is it realistic to farm at Phosphorus index 1?
 - How long does it take for soil Phosphorus indices to decline when Phosphorus treatment ceases and to increase when Phosphorus treatment is resumed?
- How can the arable sector make better use of recycled Phosphorus sources?
The conference will also include:
- the annual fungicide performance figures
-  a resistance management session led by Rothamsted Research
- the latest thinking on varietal interactions
- the launch of HGCA’s research priorities consultation
-  an update on grain market prospects for the coming season.

“With the right information at the growers’ fingertips, the industry can move towards more sustainable use of this increasingly precious resource, optimise yields and play its part in reducing environmental pressures,” concluded Mr Holmes.
How much does the conference cost? 
Attendance costs UK£45 (including conference papers, lunch, refreshments and VAT).
For more information or to book a place, visit the conference website here.

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