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Evolution wins the day for RAU ‘Challenge’ team - The Scottish Farmer

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Evolution won the game for Royal Agricultural University’s team in this year’s Cereals Challenge.

At last week’s Cereals event, the RAU team got the vote for growing the best crop of virtual winter wheat.  Newcastle University took second, followed by Harper Adams University.

University's team in this year's Cereals Challenge At least week's Cereals event, the RAU team got the vote for growing the best crop of virtual winter wheat Newcastle University took second, followed by Harper Adams University.

The winning team of Tania Coxon, James Waddington, Charlotte Pritchard and Oliver Carrick get £1000 prize money to share, plus an additional £500 for their college from David Hutchinson, agri-advice business, Hutchinsons’ chairman.

Back in February, teams were presented with this year's challenge to grow the best plot of winter wheat on land that has a resistant blackgrass challenge, following a crop of oilseed rape leaving Clearfield volunteers.

The winners chose to grow the wheat variety Evolution because of its tillering capacity and blackgrass competitiveness. The crop was drilled in early November to allow for an application of glyphosate for weed control prior to drilling.

As the season progressed, the team amended their fungicide and nutritional plans to reflect difficult spring conditions, which they said made the difference.

The judges, Dick Neale, of Hutchinsons and Keith Norman, of Velcourt, agreed that the winning formula was the team's robust approach to managing the crop through a difficult season.

Charlotte Pritchard, part of the RAU team, said that taking part in the Cereals Challenge had given her first-hand experience of what it would be like to work as an agronomist.

It has also has been an excellent opportunity to be working and learning alongside leading industry experts such as Dick Neale and Keith Norman.  It was certainly well worth the commitment and hard work throughout the season and I would encourage anyone considering a career in agronomy or crop production to take part,” she added.