The BCPC Congress 2019 to tackle the challenge of reconciling increased food production with environmental improvement

The BCPC Congress in Brighton, 19-20 November, provides a unique opportunity to focus on the challenge of reconciling increased food production with environmental improvement.

This year’s event, entitled “Understanding the demands and opportunities of a ‘Green Brexit’ – how do we deliver food production alongside environmental enhancement?”, will raise to the surface the science, technology and policy issues resulting from the UK Government’s strategy for agriculture, in which farmers will only be supported to deliver biodiversity, cultural landscapes, high quality water, air and soil.

Day one will start with a plenary session on delivering both improved food production and “public goods”. The opening speaker is Julie Girling (former MEP) presenting on the post Brexit political situation in Brussels. Following this, will be presentations on developing sustainable plant health solutions and plant genetic technologies, with speakers including: Robert Sheasby (AIC); Guy Smith (NFU) and Dr Tina Barsby, OBE (NIAB).

The afternoon parallel sessions will cover current regulatory issues for pesticides and new breeding techniques (Stream A, chaired by Iain Watt, TSG Consulting) and science-based agriculture, focusing on advances in applying crop production inputs to achieve future improvements in yields and environmental protection (Stream B). Chaired by Jim Orson (BCPC), Stream B will take the format of a discussion forum, involving plenary presenters, allowing delegates and speakers to share ideas on how science and technology can support growers in providing profitable and environmentally sustainable food production in the future.

The second day begins with a look at the global impact of food production, input management and delivery of Integrated Pest Management, with speakers including: Professor Rhys Green, University of Cambridge; Nick Poole, Foundation for Arable Research (Australia) and Mark Grantley-Smith, AHDB.

There will also be a particular focus on precision agriculture. Dr Alun James from Sagentia will consider the needs and specific factors of the UK farming industry and review the advantages and risks of precision agriculture. In addition, the HSE’s Chemical Regulations Division (CRD) will be hosting an interactive workshop – “Regulating new agricultural technologies”. Delegates will investigate the regulatory opportunities and challenges arising from developments such as:

• Robotics, machine-learning interfaces
• Treatments informed in real-time by remote sensing, diagnostics and best IPM practice
• Application-specific formulations
• Delivery of ‘bespoke’ doses for spot-treatment of pests, weeds or diseases

The key aim is to get early inputs from stakeholders to inform/develop regulatory systems in a way that maximises the benefits.

The BCPC Congress 2019, is organised in association with TSGE Forum. Details of the programme, speakers and how to register can be found at

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26-27 November 2024
Harrogate, UK

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