Farmer researching in field© OJO Images/REX

A leading agricultural research institute is calling for candidates to join them this autumn and learn about their scientific research and how it can be applied in the field.

The Rothamsted Research Current Research in Crop Protection course is designed for people in the agri-food sector who put agricultural science into practice on a daily basis including farmers, advisers, agronomists and technical managers.

Candidates will have the chance to learn from some the world’s best scientists in their respective fields.

See also: Rothamsted boss on how to get research on farm faster

The course is made up of a one-day and three two-day training units at the world’s longest running agricultural research station in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.

The syllabus includes weed science, plant breeding, genetics and plant pathology and entomology and touches on key topics such as pesticide resistance management and GM technology.

‘Facinating insight’

Kent grower and Farmers Weekly Farmer Focus writer Andy Barr took the course last year and says it gave him a detailed insight into the latest scientific research.

“It was fascinating learning from the people directly involved in the science and also having the chance to tour the labs and field trials to see for myself what they are doing.

“I’m always trying to learn more about growing crops and the course is highly relevant to arable farmers, covering topics such as blackgrass,” he says.

All students are required to complete a research project, which is assessed on completing of the course, and Mr Barr’s looked into reducing reliance on pesticides to control insect enemies.

“We welcome farmers and industry people to apply and it’s a great social and networking experience.”
Lin Field, Rothamsted Research

“I chose an area that was of interest to me and with fewer chemicals available for pest control and resistance building, could we devise a system where we don’t use insecticides at all?”

He is now putting some of his findings into practice on his farm at East Lenham, near Maidstone, using trap and companion crops to help protect his cash crops.

Social side

Lin Field, course leader and Rothamsted Research’s head of biological chemistry and crop protection says in the past the course has drawn a diverse range of candidates from across the agricultural sector.

“We welcome farmers and industry people to apply and it’s a great social and networking experience,” adds Professor Field.

The course is recognised at higher education level seven and is worth 15 credits at master’s level. It also counts as a Basis advanced module and contributes towards the Basis diploma in agronomy and is worth 30 CPD points.

The cost of the course is £1,200 and those applying through the AgriFood Advanced Training Partnership (AATP) website could be eligible for a 50% bursary.

For more information, contact Prof Field at lin.field@rothamsted.ac.uk or call 01582 938 355.