Team Harper Adams University have come second in the Cereals Challenge and received a further prize for coming first in the Guild of Agriculture Journalists Award for writing the best report on their decision making process.
The Harper Adams team was made up of four final year BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management students: Helen Brown, Joe Bagshaw, Rebecca Creasy and James Whatty.
The competition, which has been running for eight years, had a revamp this year with the competitors looking at virtual trial plots rather than real ones at the Cereals site.
Louisa Dines, senior lecture in agronomy, said: “It’s been more difficult this year when asked how they think they have done as there hasn’t been anything tangible.
“I’m really pleased for them and they have put a lot of effort into it. It’s been hard work, especially alongside everything else they have done in their final year. It’s really nice to see them rewarded.”
James, 23, said: “It’s been a real challenge because we’d prefer to be able to see the actual crop. It’s been interesting and we’ve tried to work it around the real situation.”
Helen Brown, 22, explained: “We did a press article about how we changed the fertiliser because in the spring we reduced our rate due to how dry it was, which made it more financially profitable.”
Becca Creasy, 21, went on to say: “When there was a change in the weather, they’d send us an email saying this has happened and ask how we were going to respond to it. An example was them asking us what we wanted to do when we were having a lot of aphids this spring.
“This challenge has been quite a nice overlap with the course we are doing.
“We’re really pleased with the result and it makes a good end to the final year .”
The competition was run by Velcourt and Hutchinsons.