March 9, 2015, by Lindsay Brooke

Winter rye cereal challenge

For the sixth year running, students from six UK colleges and universities are rising to the challenge of growing the best plot of winter rye in the 2015 Cereals Challenge.

Located at Patrick Dean Farms, Boothby Graffoe in Lincolnshire, the site of the 2015 Cereals event, six plots of rye have been official

ly handed over to the student teams to manage through to the final judging during the 2015 Cereals Event.

Successful teams from The University of Nottingham, Newcastle University, The Royal Agricultural University College, Bishop Burton College (Riseholme Campus), Writtle College and Easton & Otley College qualified in a competitive process against a total of eleven entries to win a place in this year’s Challenge. The winning team will receive a trophy and a prize of £1,000 to share, the winning college is also awarded £500.

The student teams have complete responsibility for the plots from mid-February until the day before the Cereals event in June, when they will be judged by Keith Norman, technical director at Velcourt, Dick Neale, technical manager of Hutchinsons, and a representative from the Cereals team.

The competition will look at each team’s agronomic recommendations (based on appropriateness and timeliness of recommendations), input cost management, estimated crop yield and the quality, as well as the marketing of the crop.

Paul Hobson of Hutchinsons and Nick Shorter of Velcourt who launched the Cereals Challenge to the students underlined the success of the Challenge in offering an insight into careers in agronomy or farm management, and also as an opportunity to meet youngsters looking for a career with either company.
Since the Challenge was launched Hutchinsons has taken on 5 students into their successful Agronomy Foundation Training Programme whilst Velcourt has employed six students.

Follow the 2015 Cereals Challenge on Twitter @CerealChallenge where you can meet the teams and keep up-to-date with what is happening on the plots.

From left to right: James Driffield, Fiona McGuffie, Jerome Fielder, Ben Lumley

From left to right:
James Driffield, Fiona McGuffie, Jerome Fielder, Ben Lumley

Examining the plots Cereals Challenge 2015

Teams on the plots Cereals Challenge 2015

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