- 13 September 2012
The year 2012 marks 100 years of delivery of education and training at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Greenmount Campus. To mark this special occasion a one day event, ‘Horticulture 2012’, that will have something to offer everyone involved in production horticulture, landscaping, amenity or sports turf will be held on Wednesday 19th September. ‘Horticulture 2012’ will also include seminars, demonstrations, tours and a trade exhibition. The associated trade exhibition of over 100 stands offers a tremendous opportunity for visitors to meet suppliers and service providers, from a large number of local and national companies and organisations.
The organising committee of the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU), the College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland (ALCI) and Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) are very keen that everyone involved in production horticulture, landscaping, amenity or sports turf should exploit this exceptional opportunity to access the latest knowledge, technology and equipment updates in a single location.
Horticulture is a very varied and dynamic industry.’ Horticulture 2012’ will reflect and celebrate this diversity.
The seminar programme offers anyone working in local landscaping and amenity provision, production horticulture, sports turf and groundsmanship sectors access to the latest knowledge and technology transfer developments for their sector. A profile of the speakers and seminars are outlined below.
No Speaker Name Summary paragraph (Profile and Presentation)
1 - Dr Paul Miller - Paul works at the internationally renowned Silsoe Spray Applications Unit in Bedford that is now part of NIAB and his research has included investigations into all aspects of agricultural crop spraying. He has particularly been concerned with improving the targeting of applications, nozzle performance, droplet deposition and spray quality. Paul’s presentation will address all the factors associated with the issue of “Better Spray Application”, including the latest developments in equipment and nozzle technology for improved results while minimising drift and waste.
2 - Dr Jon Knight - Jon is Head of Research and Development at Horticulture Development Company (HDC). His focus is on practical solutions to pest management problems. In his talk on ‘The Impact of Changing Pesticide Availability’, Jon will be discussing the possible strategies that lie ahead for those involved in production horticulture. He will address the serious issue of how to produce crops of acceptable quality with fewer conventional inputs, while satisfying increased consumer demands. Jon’s presentation will incorporate the latest findings with respect to new formulations and novel application methods for agrochemicals, the role of naturally derived pest control products (including the use of bio-pesticides) and the continuing evolution of Integrated Pest (Crop) Management.
3 - Mr Jerry Cropley - Jerry is Managing Director of Cropley Glasshouses Ltd, based in Somerset. The company has erected numerous growing structures in Ireland, including the latest ‘Venlo’ type constructions for modern crop production. In his talk on protected crop structures, Jerry will discuss glass and polytunnel protected structures with respect to various crops.
4 - Mr Mike Daly - Mike was formerly senior agronomist for Kemira speciality crop fertilisers where he developed Kemira’s ‘Ferticare’ feeds. He then worked for William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd. and now runs his own consultancy, ‘The Agrology House.’ Mike will be sharing his specialist expertise in nutrition at three separate presentations on vegetable crops, protected soft fruit production and sports turf facilities. He will also provide updates on pH and nutrient management for disease control in specific crops.
5 - Mr David Foster - David is technical manager of Koppert Biological Systems at Koppert UK. He has extensive experience of advising horticultural enterprises in effective non-chemical pest control and integrated crop management strategies. In his seminars, Dave will outline realistic, field-tested methods for the ongoing control of pests in sports turf and various horticultural crop situations, allowing managers to reduce their reliance on agrichemicals where feasible.
6 - Dr Suzanne Higgins - Dr Suzanne Higgins is a soil scientist based at AFBI New Forge, Belfast. She has a specialist expertise in the interaction between liming agents, soil conditioning products and nutrients in various soils, with the practical objectives of improving the efficiency of applied nutrition and reducing adverse environmental impact. Suzanne will bring her experience to the subject of long-term soil management for enhanced stability, fertility and, ultimately, an improved yield or quality potential in field crops.
7 - Mr Nigel Moore - Nigel is currently CAFRE’s Senior Renewable Energy Technologist with responsibility for delivery of CAFRE’s renewable energy knowledge technology transfer and training provision. He is also responsible for energy benchmarking in agriculture and horticulture. Nigel will explain the renewable energy options available for horticultural producers to adopt on their holdings, along with the costs, benefits and limitations associated with such technologies.
8 - Dr Ian Garner - Ian is Northern Ireland Manager for WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme). He is a Chartered Environmentalist, a Chartered Water and Environmental Manager and a Chartered Biologist, with over 30 years’ experience in areas of contaminated land regeneration, waste management, wastewater treatment and agrochemical manufacturing. Ian will present recent findings on the contribution that composted waste materials can make to soil fertility. His talk will include the potential benefits of using the by-product from anaerobic digestion (a sustainable energy generation process) as a soil conditioner.
9 - Mr David Johnston - For over 30 years David has worked as a Grass Breeder at AFBI, Loughgall. The early part of his career was on turf-grass breeding but in recent years his main focus has been on forage grasses, aiming to produce locally adapted varieties with improved disease resistance, winter-hardiness and seed production. David will explain the characteristics and advantages for an exciting selection of new grass species and seed blends, along with their application to different amenity and sports turf situations, or problem areas.
10 - Mrs Christine Haydock - Christine is a senior Food Technologist, based at CAFRE’s Loughry Campus, with responsibility for the delivery of technical support to the fresh produce processing sector in N. Ireland. This ‘commercial in confidence’ support is delivered to each company on a bespoke basis and is provided to both start up companies and those already established; helping them meet the challenges of the modern customer. Christine’s presentation “Adding Value to Produce” will describe some of the methods available to producers who may be thinking of this development to their business, as well as the impact that added value can have to a business involved in edible crop production or food manufacturing.
11 - Mr John Finlay - John is responsible for the Plant Health and Horticulture Inspectorate (within the Agri-food Inspection Branch, DARD) managing the implementation of EU and local legislation. This includes surveillance for a range of quarantine pests and diseases and management of their outbreaks. Alistair, Stephen and John will give an update on those pest and disease species which are becoming more significant to local horticulture. They will identify the key signs and symptoms to look out for in each instance, the potential effect of the problem(s) and any control or prevention measures that growers can realistically implement.
12 - Dr Alistair McCracken - Alistair is a plant pathologist with over thirty years experience and a particular interest in diseases of woody crops. His team researches the epidemiology, survival, spread, control and eradication of tree diseases. He also investigates the factors affecting the introduction of new pathogens to Ireland. Alistair will highlight disease species which are becoming more significant to local horticulture
13 - Dr Stephen Jess - Stephen Jess is a research entomologist with specific interest in novel techniques for controlling invertebrate pests in agriculture and horticulture. With more than forty years experience, he has a considerable insight into plant health issues and crop protection practices. Stephen will update the audience on those pest species which are becoming more significant to local horticulture
14 - Mr John Early - John works for the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (an agency within the DoE). In his role John oversees the Invasive Species Ireland Project which aims to raise awareness of invasive alien species on an all-Ireland basis. He has expertise in area of invasive aquatic plant and terrestrial invasive plant management. Through his talk entitled ‘Invasive Species - Be Plant Wise’, John will familiarise his audience with those weeds and plant species whose spread and establishment can pose a threat to horticulture, amenity areas and the wider environment. He will also show what practical, protective steps are possible in the field.
15 - Mr Charlie Kilpatrick - Charlie is CAFRE’s Senior Business Technologist responsible for benchmarking and business management support to Northern Ireland’s commercial horticulture industry, arable crops and renewable energy sectors. Charlie will emphasise how all horticultural businesses should be ‘Planning for Profit’. In his talk, he will identify the various measures and performance indicators that can direct any producer towards greater efficiencies and improved returns.
16 - Mrs Anne Douglas - Anne joined Cavanagh Kelly in 2000 and has worked across various departments within the practice, including taxation. Now a Director within the firm, she leads the Growing Business Support Team. Her team services a varied portfolio of clients by providing specialist advice, guidance and support with a client focussed commercial approach. Anne will be speaking about the various ‘Taxation Issues for Horticultural Businesses’ and her talk should help growers to understand their current statutory responsibilities and the priorities for action in the short and medium term life of the business.
17 - Mrs Rosemary Peters Gallagher - Rosemary is a partner in Moore Stephens and heads up the firm’s audit and assurance division. She has an extensive portfolio of clients in the agri-sector. Rosemary has served as a Non-Executive Director of several public sector bodies including InvestNI, NHSSB and the Cabinet Office and is currently Honorary Treasurer of the University of Ulster. Rosemary’s presentation will cover one of the biggest challenges that small business owners can face, namely ‘Sourcing Funds for Business Investment’. In addition to emphasising and illustrating the importance of an effective business plan, Rosemary will relate the various options for funding in terms of their advantages and drawbacks.
18 - Mr Malcolm Downey - Malcolm joined the HSENI as an Agriculture Inspector in 1997. He is currently Principal Inspector, responsible for the Compliance NI Group covering agriculture, general manufacturing and quarrying sectors in Northern Ireland. Malcolm will clarify the range of legislation and guidelines associated with ‘Health and Safety in the Workplace’, providing an up-to-date and workable set of recommendations for small and medium sized enterprises to adopt.
19 - Mrs Patricia Coulter - Patricia Coulter is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has worked with the Labour Relations Agency since 1994. She has extensive experience in advising on Employment Law matters and has recently been trained as a Workplace Mediator. She is excellently placed to discuss the most relevant issues of employment law for horticulture businesses to consider, and her talk will emphasise the best practice guidelines that any employer can implement without incurring serious costs or disruption.
20 - Mr Norman Fulton - Norman joined the Department as an agricultural economist in 1987. Since 2005 he has headed Policy and Economics Division. He had lead responsibility for the development of DARD’s first research and development strategy and acts as sponsor within DARD for the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute. He provided the policy lead for NI in the 2008 CAP Health Check negotiations and will have the same responsibility in the forthcoming reforms. Norman’s presentation will summarise the proposed future role of the European CAP, and the main changes expected, in order to meet the needs of the agricultural industry and society’s expectations, while contributing positively to ‘Europe 2020’, the EU’s growth strategy for the coming decade.
21 - Mr Lorcan Bourke - Lorcan holds a B.Agr.Sc. degree and an MBS (in International Marketing) from the Michael Smurfit Business School, both from UCD. His current role is one of business analyst for horticulture, within Bord Bia – the Irish Food Board. This role involves monitoring and researching, industry and market trends, for both the food and gardening/landscape aspects of horticulture. Lorcan also has a specialist development and marketing responsibility for the potato and vegetable sectors in Ireland, while also being recently reappointed to DAFM Focus Organic, organic development group. Lorcan’s session on ‘Fresh Produce Market Trends’ will interpret national data from retail food sales, with particular emphasis on the most significant changes in demand for horticultural goods over recent years.
22 - Mrs Sarah Dawson - Sarah is chairman of the NFU’s Horticulture and Potatoes Board. Sarah’s industry experience includes 20 years working in a range of senior roles within the UK fresh and frozen food industry. The Managing Director of Food Chain Partnerships Ltd and a qualified agronomist, Sarah is based in Boston, Lincolnshire where she also takes an active hands-on role in her family’s specialist brassica farming business. Sarah will highlight the main recommendations of a landmark report from NFU entitled ‘Catalyst for Change’, which proposes better working relationships and communication along the entire fresh produce supply chain. The main aim of the proposals is to improve production efficiency and to protect or consolidate domestic food production.
23 - Mr Lewis Cunningham - After graduating from QUB with a B. Agr, Lewis worked in the Agri-food industry in Monaghan Mushrooms and Fane Valley. He joined Wilson’s Country in 1997 as Commercial Director and accepted the role of Managing Director in 2005. He also holds a MBA and was nominated as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Lewis’s talk on “How to Build a Brand” will cover all the elements that contribute to successful branding and distinctive product identities. Lewis will illustrate the need for consistency and a coordinated approach to branding, with examples from his extensive experience in the agri-food sector.
24 - Mr Neil McCauley - Neil is Technical Sales Manager at McQuillan Envirocare in Antrim and is involved in both analytical services and total waste management action plans for a range of local businesses. Neil will draw on his extensive experience to tackle the challenging issue of responsible waste management for horticultural businesses, including re-use, recycling and disposal strategies for increased sustainability while complying with current legislation.
Source: HortiTrends News Room