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Welcome to 365 Central

Welcome to the home of Central region advice & expertise

Hosted by your local Bayer technical managers who are on hand to offer advice and expertise on crop growing strategies. We may not be able to meet you face-to-face at the moment, but you can still join the Bayer team and leading industry experts online for guided walk-throughs and valuable insight.

Ben Giles


Commercial Technical Manager for Warks, Northants, Bucks, Herts, Oxon, Glos, Beds

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Seven agronomic insights to help manage crops in March in the Midlands

Crop Progress

Other than a few crops under water following the February storms, in general cereal crops were looking fantastic as we approach March.

In wheat, there’s some mildew around and Septoria on the older leaves. Our latent disease testing service, CropCheck, is finding Septoria in the latest emerged leaf. So far there haven’t been many reports of yellow rust, but that’s likely to change in susceptible varieties.

There have been reports of net blotch in winter barley, and watch out for mildew as well.

There are some very forward oilseed rape crops – in February we were finding a lot of cabbage stem flea beetle larvae albeit not having made the migration into the main stem. Time will tell what the impact of that will be.



Adam’s agronomy tips for March

1. Control later emerging grass weeds in wheat

2. Consider whether a T0 is required in winter barley and winter wheat

3. Plan T1 winter barley strategies

4. Consider using new CropCheck service to assess disease risks

5. Watch out for light leaf spot in oilseed rape

6. Minimise weed competition in sugar beet

7. Consider benefits of a liquid nematicide in potatoes


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A [not so] serious interview with your local man: Ben Giles

Ben Giles has been Bayer’s man in the Midlands for so long, we’re pretty sure you all know him really well. Even so, we asked him some questions. He answered them in a “Ben” way.


Q. Are you from a farming background?
A. Nope

Q. Did you always want to work in agriculture? What inspired you to work in the industry?
A. Nope, had no interest until university where a number of units on the degree course were agriculture related and were linked to Long Ashton Research Station.

Q. What did you study at University?
A. Contemporary Fashion

Q. How long have you worked for Bayer?
A. 15 years

Q. What’s the best part of your job at a CTM?
A. The time spent in the field looking at crops and trials

Q. What does a typical day look like?
A. Well it’s 24 hours long and consists of light and dark, the length of which depends on the time of year.

Q. What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job?
A. Colleagues [Editor’s note: One suspects Ben was referring to ones who ask him to do things like this.]

Q. How do you think farming is going to change in the next 5-10 years?
A. A continued embracing of technology as the age demographic of decision makers shifts younger.

Q. What role do you think Bayer will play in that change?
A. Well hopefully a leading one for at least the next 15 years so I can get to retirement.

Q. What innovation / technology are you most excited about for the future of farming?
A. Small Robot Company / Hands Free Hectare

Q. What will be the biggest challenge for farmers in the next 5 years?
A. The move away from the current support mechanism to one that is likely based on the ‘public money for public good’ principle. Also accepting that simply feeding the UK population is not regarded as publicly good enough.

Q. What book do you think every farmer should read?
A. The Resilient Farmer by Doug Avery or A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by David Attenborough

Q. Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
A. Dad – for the week of accountancy work experience when I was 15 that convinced me never to get a job in an office.

Q. When you’re not working, where would we find you and why?
A. Still working because Bayer decided not to replace my neighbouring CTM and so I’m doing two jobs! That or rowing round the gym at home because the lake is off limits!

Q. Describe yourself in 3 words?
A. Not that serious


Ben Giles Central

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