A team of Harper Adams University students has won Hutchinsons’ 2019 Cereals Challenge. Runner up Newcastle University won the company’s separate Environmental Challenge. The Royal Agricultural University was third.
Five colleges – Harper, Newcastle, Riseholme College, the Royal and Writtle University College – competed to grow the best virtual crop of spring barley while managing problematic blackgrass.
The winning Harper team comprised Dan Hawes, George Atkey, Danny Richardson and Tom Kirby. They were presented with the prestigious Cereals Challenge trophy and £1,000 prize money to share, plus an additional £500 for the College, by David Hutchinson, Hutchinsons chairman and Matt Cobbald of Velcourt, at last week’s Cereals Event.
“The team from Harper came through as they thought about the consequences of their approach and justified their inputs well. They also considered alternative approaches to weed control such as hoeing weeds which they were able to do as they had sown the crop in wider rows,” commented judge Dick Neale of Hutchinsons.
The inaugural Environmental Challenge saw the Newcastle team win £400 plus £100 for their University, for demonstrating the strongest awareness of environmental protection and integrated pest management (IPM) principles.
The judges, Matt Ward of Farmacy and Phil Jarvis of the Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust, were impressed with the clarity of the advice provided by the team – “not just what to do and where, but why. They also went the extra mile suggesting community engagement, being members of LEAF and signposting to a biobed grant.”