Research - Optimising the efficiency of fungicides in distilling wheat | Harper Adams University

Research

Optimising the efficiency of fungicides in distilling wheat

Abstract

This study is designed to investigate the relationships between disease control and green leaf area duration on grain yield and quality for the production of alcohol from winter wheat.

Description

Traditionally distilling wheat in the UK has been grown for the Scotch whisky industry. This market requires an annual production of 700,000 tonnes of wheat to produce approximately 300,000,000 litres of alcohol each year.1 There is growing interest in the production of distilling wheat for the emerging fuel alcohol market. Fuel alcohol, commonly known as bioethanol is produced using similar techniques to those used by the potable alcohol industry. Growing interest in biofuels has led to concerns over the production of large areas of non-food crops threatening the availability and affordability of food.2 There have also been concerns over the amount of CO2 emitted during the production and processing of the fuel.3 If biofuels are to be produced it is important to address these concerns by maximising efficiency both in the field and during processing. Achieving a high level of alcohol production per hectare will help minimise the cultivated area of non-food crops, easing pressures on both food production and the environment. Maximising the efficiency of crop production can also help limit the amount of CO2 emitted during production. Achieving a high grain alcohol yield (litres of alcohol [LA] per tonne) will also help maximise processing efficiency helping to reduce energy requirements. To achieve these objectives it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of the agronomic factors which influence alcohol production. Previous investigations have studied relationships between disease control, green flag leaf area duration and grain quality 4, 5; however none have investigated the influence of these factors upon alcohol yield. This study is therefore designed to expand on what is known to determine how these factors influence the production of alcohol.

Funding Body

Syngenta Crop Protection, Harper Adams, Scotch Whisky Research Institute

Publications

Watson, A.M., Hare, M.C., Kettlewell, D., Brosnan, J.M. and Agu, R.  2010.  Relationships between disease control, green leaf duration, grain quality and the production of alcohol from winter wheat.  Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 90 (In-Press). 

Watson, A.M., Hare, M.C., Kettlewell, P.S., Ranner, D., Brosnan, J.M. and Agu, R.  2010.  The influence of azoxystrobin dose rate and timing on alcohol yield in distilling wheat.  Proceedings of the Crop Protection Conference of Northern Britain conference, Dundee, 23-24th February 2010. 

Watson, A.M., Hare, M.C., Kettlewell, P.S., Ranner, D., Brosnan, J.M. and Agu, R.  2008.  Effect of azoxystrobin dose rate on grain quality and alcohol yield in distilling wheat.  Aspects of Applied Biology, 90, 127-133.

Watson, A.M., Hare, M.C., Kettlewell, P.S. and Ranner, D. 2008. Effect of azoxystrobin dose rate on starch concentration in wheat grain. Abstracts of the Society of Chemical Industry/Royal Society of Chemistry conference on Wheat for Biofuels, Bioenergy and High Value Bioproducts, 29 April 2008, Jealott’s Hill, Bracknell UK.

Watson, A.M., Hare, M.C., Kettlewell, P.S. and Ranner, D. 2008.  Increasing the efficiency of alcohol production in distilling wheat through the use of fungicide inputs.  Abstracts of the Guild HE Research Symposium, 21st November 2008, St John’s College, York

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