Minimising costs while maximising potential yield was the successful philosophy of this year’s student winner of the Scottish Agricultural College winter wheat challenge.

The winning team – all second year Agriculture students – included Sally Wilson from Earlston, Berwickshire, Michael McLaren from St Andrews, John Wallace from Newtonstewart, and Robert Brewster from Forfar.

Robigus was the chosen variety, largely for its yield potential and broad disease resistance, which suited the low-cost approach, the team explained.

Yield averaged 9.5t/ha, with costs of £39.30/t, which resulted in an overall gross margin of £472.61/ha.

“The Challenge gives each individual a real-life learning experience of managing and recording the progress of a crop of winter wheat over the growing season,” commented SAC study director, John Elcock.

“Students maximise their opportunity for learning by monitoring the growing conditions throughout the season and justifying the reasons behind their management decisions.”

SAC wheat winners

The winning team (left to right, Sally Wilson, Michael McLaren, Robert Brewster, John Wallace):