The Mains of Loirston Trust have extended their funding of the Winter Wheat Challenge project for a further two years. The challenge is a competition between entrants to grow the most profitable crop of wheat. In previous years it has been aimed primarily at first year students as an extra curricula activity, but engagement has been patchy and thus its value as a teaching resource not maximised. The extension has three objectives. Firstly, to embed the Challenge into formal teaching of year 3 and year 4 agronomy modules across SRUC’s faculties to enable students to develop and evaluate their decision making skills. Secondly to provide a platform for focussed engagement between students, lecturing staff and consultants. Thirdly to evaluate the scope for remote decision making in crop management. The latter is prompted by current restrictions on movement created by Covid-19. Funding has been granted for setting up and managing 60 field plots of wheat at each of two sites. Students will make decisions about variety choice, seed rates, fertilizer regimes and fungicide programmes and must tailor their decisions to the specific site conditions. Initial decisions will be made after viewing drone images and data from mobile phone apps and then adjusted, if necessary, after visiting their most local site. Consultants and lecturing staff will also enter teams to add an element of competition and to benchmark ‘good’ practice.
|Short title||Wheat Challenge|
|Effective start/end date||1/09/20 → 31/10/22|