Hartpury University agriculture students are working with experts from two high-profile industry bodies on a research project investigating disease control.
ADAS Farming Association, which provides independent advice to improve farm productivity, is for the first time monitoring a trial site at Brickhouse Farm – one of Hartpury’s partner sites – looking at the development of eyespot in wheat.
Alongside their own plots, the organisation planted trial plots on behalf of Hartpury – one of the UK’s leading agricultural education institutions – to enable agronomy students to carry out their own fungicide programmes and compare results against those managed by ADAS.
The research is being jointly monitored by Gareth Bubb, the Wales, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire technical manager for Bayer, a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition.
Hartpury, where NFU President Minette Batters recently opened a £2 million Agri-Tech Centre, is committed to providing its students with access to the latest skills and technology in farming.
Patrick Tandy, Lecturer in Agriculture at Hartpury University, said: “Working alongside major organisations is an opportunity for our students to gain real-life experience and knowledge of the latest scientific advancements in preparation for a career within the agriculture industry.
“These important relationships with ADAS and Bayer enable our students to see how the industry develops new products related to tackling disease control, how they work over the longer term and whether they become less effective as disease resistance builds up.
“When the results of this ongoing research project are available, they will be communicated to the rest of the country.”
Students at Hartpury benefit from one 400-hectare commercial farming business across five rural sites that supplies Muller, Sainsbury’s and Glencore.
Home to cows, calves, sheep and arable land, facilities at Hartpury include the new £2 million Agri-Tech Centre featuring the latest precision farming technologies, a dairy bull-beef rearing unit, a 296-cubicle dairy unit and a Shearwell Te Pari Racewell HD3 Sheep Handler.
The state-of-the-art facility showcases the production, welfare and financial improvements that smart farming technology can bring to farmers and producers, to further increase their overall farm performance and productivity.
The Agri-Tech Centre is part of Hartpury’s ambitious 10-year vision to create a Digital Innovation Farm, in response to an increasingly digital world with global demand for new technology in farming.
In recognition of the success of its dairy herd and facilities, Hartpury was announced as the winner of the Promar International Milkminder Manager of the Year 2019 – Regional Award for the South of England.
Degrees and postgraduate study at Hartpury provide routes into a diverse range of career opportunities within the UK and international agriculture industry, including farm management, agronomy, policymaking, research, science and consultancy.
The expertise and experience of lecturers at Hartpury spans all areas of agricultural sciences, and all staff are actively involved in research and knowledge exchange, either as researchers or practitioners.
Research is fully integrated within teaching, with staff research active in the areas in which they teach and many dissertations embedded in larger scale research projects.
All research activity either directly or indirectly informs not only current industry practice but also the curriculum.
Picture: Lecturer Patrick Tandy with agriculture students at Hartpury University (taken before the current social distancing guidelines)