The Countrywide NIAB Agronomy Cup is an annual unique trials-based crop challenge begun in 2012. It aims to engage with the next generation of agricultural advisors and crop scientists whilst showcasing practical agronomic science and crop research. Sponsored by Countrywide and open to agriculture and crop science students from universities and colleges across the UK the competition is based on the outcome of a team’s agronomy, farm management and agricultural decision-making skills.
But it differs from other crop trial competitions as these agronomic decisions are tested on fully-replicated field plots at a NIAB TAG trials site local to the team, rather than as a desk-based challenge or at a single central location. In this way the competition emphasises the importance of field observations, basing decisions on those observations and then understanding and interpreting the results from field trials. It also shows how local conditions may lead to differing agronomic decisions compared to a national view.
For more information, including the rules click here
Simon Harwood, Anna Murray, George Gay and James Cunningham beat teams from Harper Adams University, Shuttleworth College, The Royal Agricultural University and from their own Easton and Otley College. The team achieved a plot yield of 8.257 t/ha, 0.023 t/ha less than a second team from Easton and Otley College, but crucially the winners spent 30% less on fungicides.
Ben Gooding, Rob Hosker, Alex McCormack and Howard Tratt from Harper Adams University’s FdSc Agriculture course beat students from Easton College, Newcastle University, The Royal Agricultural College, Lincoln University, Sparsholt College and fellow students from HAU’s BSc Agriculture course to take the 2012 title and a £2,000 cash prize for HAU. Rob and Alex were presented with the Agronomy Cup in front of delegates at the NIAB TAG Outlook Conference.
All teams are encouraged to use the NIAB TAG Facebook page and Twitter (@NIABTAG, #niabcup) to discuss and debate plot recommendations with each other, opposing teams and interested parties as well as post pictures and videos of plots and team members working with NIAB staff.
For further information contact Ian Midgley, NIAB TAG National Trials Co-ordinator on 01223 342200