IBERS Aberystwyth retains NIAB agronomy cup

A team of agriculture students from Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) are the winners of the NIAB Agronomy Cup for the second year.

Philip Dray, Olivia MacGarvie, William Watson and Will Daviesachieved the highest gross margin of £2,131/ha in the annual winter wheat trial plotcompetition, based on a yield of 12.24 t/ha and an input cost of £72.15/ha.

IBERS-Aberystwyth is the first team to lift the trophy twice since the competition began, after winning in 2017 and coming a close second in 2016. They beat six other university and colleges, with a team from Diss Young Farmers Club, in Norfolk, coming second and Lancashire’s Myerscough College taking third place.

The competition was carried out on the wheat variety KWS Siskin on five sites across the UK, although none of the teams achieved a milling specification this year.

Philip described the reasoning behind the IBERS-Aberystwyth’s technical recommendations. “There was already some septoria present in the crop by T0. By applying Bravo (a.i. chlorothalonil) at the T0 and T1 timing we hoped to slow the spread of the disease. We then used Ignite (a.i. epoxiconazole) at T1 to reduce the risk of yellow rust infection at the Hereford site.”

With KWS Siskin’s score of 6 for lodging the IBERS team applied a full rate of chlormequat at T1. “There was a high level of residual nitrogen in the soil, so we avoided additional nitrogen and, by adding a PGR, we hoped to prevent the crop from lodging,” said Philip.

By T2 the team had observed eyespot on the stem, so added Tracker (a.i. boscalid + epoxiconazole) as an eradicant and protectant, including reducing the further spread of septoria.  They used Amistar Opti (a.i. azoxystrobin + chlorothalonil), for the chlorothalonil for additional septoria protectant activity, then added Folicur (a.i. tebuconazole) at T3 to prevent fusarium infection.

Get Our E-Newsletter - breaking news to your in-box once a week
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Share.

About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.