29 Apr 2021

Emily McCaver, Studying Crop Production on BSc Agriculture

“It’s amazing learning about new technology for a sustainable future.”

Hi, I’m Emily and I’m in my final year of BSc Agriculture at Hartpury.

Everyone says your final year at university is different to your others…the pandemic certainly made sure that was true. Luckily, online learning has meant that I haven’t missed out.

Discovering exciting technology

Developments in Crop Production is my favourite module, it’s amazing to learn about all the technology coming into the industry and focus not only on the challenges agriculture faces, but the opportunities for more sustainable farming that are coming.

My crop lecturer Patrick has been teaching us on MS Teams for the majority of the year. We’re very lucky to have him as a lecturer here. He has a wealth of knowledge and is always willing to help.

Hearing from industry experts

We had a guest speaker join us online to explain the developing technology that will be used to detect Septoria tritici; a fungus that affects wheat crops, before it is visible to us.  Currently, if you see Septoria it’s too late to treat it.

Learning in the field

At Hartpury, we have our own farm and Agri-tech Centre where trials can be done. The week following the guest speaker, we were allowed back on campus. With social distancing and negative Covid-19 tests, we got to go on our first crop walk in a year!

We walked to the fields where ADAS have a fungicide trial looking at disease control of Septoria on wheat. We found some, and although we would rather there were no signs of this fungus, Hartpury’s trials meant that we got to identify the disease. Hartpury will be having some trials for students to look at disease control using their own fungicide programme soon. Being able to go from classroom to field really helps get the information in.

My advice for crop walks is listen to everything Patrick says and make sure you have a good pair of boots!

Female student with lamb on Hartpury farm
Written By
Emily McCaver
Female student with laptop
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