The Cereals in Practice event at Saphock Farm in Aberdeenshire was held on 5th July in glorious sunshine which allowed everyone attending (estimated to be 120-130 as several attendees avoided registering!) to have a leisurely stroll through the outdoor plots being demonstrated by the event partners: FAS, SRUC and the James Hutton Institute.
The event was introduced by Colin West, Chairman of the International Barley Hub Initiative, followed by SRUC Professor Fiona Burnett, who outlined the plan for the tours around the outdoor plots and a summary of the cereal season to date and its impact on Scottish crops.
The outdoor plots covered a range of topics which are summarised below; full details can be found in the related downloads below.
- Steve Hoad from SRUC highlighted the new spring barley varieties on the AHDB Recommended List and how they fare under northern conditions.
- Bill Thomas from the James Hutton Institute outlined a project (IMPROMALT) to improve winter barley malting quality.
- There were several demonstration of intercropping opportunities using protein and CAP greening cover crops, nitrogen-fixing crops and the carry-over effects from 2017 on a spring barley crop. SRUC researchers John Baddeley and Robin Walker outlined the agronomic, environmental and economic performance of CAP Greening crops as well as the use of protein crops for food and feed.
- A trip down memory lane was provided by Bill Thomas from the James Hutton Institute on 50 years of Golden Promise
- Henry Creissen from SRUC demonstrated some Integrated Pest Management approaches for the management of disease in winter barley using combinations of winter barley varieties to achieve both high yields and high quality feed products (straw and grain), and reduce the fungicide inputs required
- Luke Ramsay from the James Hutton Institute talked about the EPH Innovate project: EPH (epiheterodendrin) is an important quality trait for the whisky industry, and this project is providing breeders with improved diagnostics to help breed future malting varieties for Scotland.
- Targeted fungicide inputs, resistance and alternatives to fungicides were covered by Fiona Burnett, Neil Havis and Ian Bingham from SRUC, focusing on best practice in terms of fungicide options, fungicide resistance and what alternatives are available to fungicides for effective disease management.
- Alex Hilton from SRUC and SRUC students were on hand to talk about the Mains of Loirston Winter Wheat Challenge plots; a competition where the farmers and advisers of the future (SRUC students) pit their wits against each other to achieve the crop with the highest gross margin.
The field tours were followed by a hog roast and the opportunity for attendees to discuss all things cereals with FAS consultants, SRUC and James Hutton researchers in the shed at Saphock, where there also displays from the International Barley Hub, SRUC Crop Research, the James Hutton Institute, SEFARI, the Rowett Institute, Farming and Water Scotland, SoilEssentials and SASA.
More information on the event can be found below.
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