2015-16 Winter Wheat Challenge, organised across three crop trial sites by
Scotland’s Rural College and supported by the Mains of Loirston Trust, is
rapidly nearing its conclusion. Competing teams of students have agreed the
important fungicide spray treatments they will use on their crops at the T2 and
T3 growth stages.
will be an opportunity to see their progress and discuss the choices made
during the annual Cereals in Practice event held at Saphock Farm near Old
Meldrum in Aberdeenshire on Tuesday 5th July.
eventual winners of the Winter Wheat Challenge will be revealed at Scottish
farming’s Agri Scot event in the autumn. Each crop, grown in Aberdeenshire,
Perthshire and Midlothian, will be harvested, a market price independently
assessed and the profit made on each entry calculated, taking account of the
production costs, including seed rate, fertiliser and spray applications.
teams, spread across the SRUC campuses, together with a team drawn from the
on-line MSc course in Applied Professional Practice SRUC delivers, are actively
competing this year,” says co-ordinator Scott Murray. “The approaches of the
different teams become more apparent at this stage of the season. For instance, one team decided not to apply
an autumn herbicide, relying on the crop to help smother the weeds. The crop is now noticeably weedier than
others, but we will only know at the end if that approach has been cost
independent judgement on progress came from invited assessors, agronomist
Charlie Catto of Frontier and Gavin Dick of industry body AHDB Cereals &
Oilseeds. They met the teams and gave constructive feedback on their various
management strategies, selecting the crops they thought looked most promising.