Published by AMTEC on 26th Jul 2022

Cereals June 2022 Event Roundup

June was a busy month here at Amtec, attending Cereals 2022 and hosting our own open day. Read on for a round-up of our news from the last month.

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June was a busy month for the team here at Amtec, attending Cereals 2022 in Duxford, as well as hosting our own open day. Read on for a round-up of our news from the last month. 

Cereals 2022

As those in the industry will know, Cereals is the calendar event of the year for arable farming. We visited the event in Duxford this year, attending the second of the two days, and came away with lots to reflect on.  

Attending the event as visitors gave us plenty of opportunity to look at what manufacturers are offering to the market currently. The focus on technology and automation was just as prevalent as it was the last time we attended Cereals in 2019, with demonstrations throughout the day of how technological advancements could support farmers in the future. 

Cereals 2022 was much more concentrated on technology than is has been in years gone by, and several larger, household-name machinery brands were marked for their absence from the event. The absence of traditional farm machinery was filled by demonstrations and stands with drones and automated machinery.  

The central focus being technology and automation provided an interesting point for reflection. Though the advanced technology on show boasted a host of benefits, from reducing input costs to improving the environment through sustainable practices, we couldn’t help but wonder how likely the average farmer would be to buy in.  

Earlier this year we conducted a survey among our customer base and found that, while many farmers were aware of the importance of sustainability to the future, there are also many who are reluctant to switch to regenerative farming methods.

We know, for example, that 29% of our surveyed customer base still uses tradition, deep tillage ploughing methods, and that over half of those surveyed combined felt there wasn’t enough funding, or enough information, to convince them to switch to regenerative, sustainable methods.  

Regenerative farming methods have divided opinion for some time now – you can read more about the contentious topic by checking out our blog on the pros and cons of regenerative agriculture. 

That said, rises in costs are currently unprecedented, and with more funding access to invest in sustainable practices recently made available by the FIF (the Farming Investment Fund), we wonder if we’ll begin to see farmers taking on more regenerative methods and using this new technology out of necessity rather than want. The price of diesel, for example, has shot through the roof, so technological advancements that mean less passes on a field are needed could prove attractive from a cost perspective.

The advancements in automation and technology in the farming industry are impressive, but are still in their earliest days, and we wonder if these will be pushed into the mainstream faster than anticipated due to the rising cost of living. 

The focus on technological advancements in farming that could lower input costs has the power to change the industry; whether or not the industry will be changing on due course is yet to be seen. Unprecedented rises in costs and environmental decline are causing a mounting external pressure on the agricultural industry, and investing in technology may be the way forward, not because of want, but because of necessity. 

Amtec Open Day

Later in June, we held an open day at Gaydon farm, and invited farmers to enjoy a complimentary lunch and have a look at our machinery in person. Many of those who came were already interested in purchasing machinery, and came to get a closer look. We had roughly 50 people in attendance, and thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet all of you. 

It was the first open day we’ve run since before the pandemic began, and though our events used to be much larger, we’re embracing the smaller-scale, more focused events. In the future, we’re planning to run events at this smaller scale more frequently, with specific focuses.  

One thing we do know about our customer base is that, as we build trusting relationships with farmers, less of them will be inclined to come in person as they’ll trust in our reputation enough to buy over the phone, which is a really positive takeaway from running these smaller events.  

As a provider of second hand machinery, exhibiting at bigger industry shows isn’t really feasible, so hosting in-person events like our open day gives us an opportunity to show what we have to offer. Although, with rising costs affecting supply chains all over the world, wait times for agricultural machinery are only getting longer, so more and more farmers are looking at second hand machinery as an alternative. If trends like this persist, who knows what could happen.

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