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VOLATILE markets, disease and climate change will be the subject of a winter workshop for Borders arable farmers, writes Sally Gillespie.

The Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) will be presenting the latest findings from HGCA and Scottish Government-funded research at The Lodge, Carfraemill on Wednesday.

Coping with Constant Change or a New Trend? will cover key issues related to the management of combinable crops say SAC using work from HGCA, the cereals and oilseeds division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

SAC cereal expert Dr Steve Hoad will explain how both established cereal varieties and new additions to the HGCA’s and SAC’s recommended lists can help growers respond to issues affecting the sector. He will look in particular at the merits of the new spring barley varieties Shuffle and Moonshine and other new wheat and winter barley varieties.

Dr Hoad said: “A key development this year will be the rise in demand for Concerto and the continued use of Optic and I will be looking at the benefits of both, as well as explaining the benefits that might be gained from considering new entries on the recommended list.”

SAC pathologist Dr Fiona Burnett will discuss winter wheat and oilseed rape disease management and present research data on new fungicides, SDHIs, recently approved for use which shows how they compare with established chemicals. She will also talk about the latest research into main diseases including clubroot and septoria.

Fellow SAC pathologist Dr Simon Oxley will cover the latest on barley disease management and how the industry should respond to emerging diseases.

Also on the programme are vegetation expert Dr Ken Davies and SAC’s Mark Ballingall who will discuss options for weed management in arable rotations. SAC’s Julian Bell will give a market outlook and there will be a presentation on precision farming by Ian Beecher Jones.

The free event starts at 9.30am. For more information and to book online visit www.hgca.com/events or call 024 7647 8724.