A team of four students from Harper Adams University College has won this years Cereals Challenge with a strong fungicide programme paying off in challenging growing conditions.
Newcastle University were runners up, with Writtle College taking the third spot in the tightly fought competition between the six teams of students.
Conditions on the site in Boothby Graffoe have been particularly challenging with the dry March and subsequent wet weather resulting in high septoria pressure.
“This year it was the team that invested the money in the fungicide programme that got the best results.” Said Ken Shipley farms director for Velcourt.
The Cereals Challenge, organised by Hutchinson’s and Velcourt, is a competition challenging students to grow and market a trial plot of Duxford winter wheat on the Cereals site.
Starting in February, students had to decide on T0, T1 and T2 sprays and the nitrogen regime.
“They were also responsible for the marketing of the crop which we allowed them to do through the futures market November future prices,” said Mr Shipley
The winners were judged by Keith Norman, technical director at Velcourt, Dick Neale, technical manager at Hutchinsons and Alastair Priestly of Patrick Dean limited, the Cereals event host farmer.
The challenge, now in its third year, aims to encourage a new generation of farmers and agronomists by applying practical example to academic research.
“It has been fantastic to apply what we have learnt to a practical environment,” said Harper Adams team leader and student Anthony Branch.
For more on this topic
See our Cereals 2012 event page