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Congratulations to Harper Adams for winning Farm Planner 2016

Date Published: 27/06/2016

IAgrMFarm Planner Competition:

Congratulationsto the team from Harper Adams for winning this year's IAgrM 'FarmPlanner'Competition and being awarded the trophy at the Lincolnshire Show

This year's competition was based on Rockscape farming business in Yorkshire who set the teams the following challenging questions;

  1. What opportunities might exist for sourcing additional feedstocks locally to feed the expanding AD plant, thus freeing up land for more traditional cropping.
  2. With Maize, Beet and Hybrid Rye in the current Rotation there is the opportunity of bare land in the winter, how could this opportunity be realised?
  3. What would you change about the current machinery, labour and use of contractors in order to increase overall efficiency? This may include exploring the possibility of slight changes to peak periods and additional farmed area. All capital machinery purchases to be fully justified.
  4. With the introduction of the AD plant the farm has become more mixed and diverse than the traditional arable cropping. What possibilities are there to now integrate livestock onto the farm to extract further revenue from existing capital investment on the farm and its resources?

e. Part of this exercise may explore the opportunities of using the livestock manure created as a feed stock for the AD plant or its value spread to land alongside the digestate.

Following the farm visit in February the teams submitted proposals for the business based on the questions raised and the judges carried out a desktop review. this was a major task due to the excellent quality of the proposals so as to pick the finalist and the following were selected;

· Bishop Burton College

· Harper Adams University

· Newcastle University

The finalists made presentations to the Judging panel on Wednesday 22ndJune, the panel included:

· Ross Hewson from Rockscape

· Jon Grayson from Rockscape

· Tim Brigstocke from IAgrM

· Mike Johnson from JH Walter

· Craig Sigley from Barclays

All three finalists made flawless pitches to the judges and after questioning by the judges it was a real challenge to select a winner for this year's competition and, as commented by Ross the standard of submission exceeded their expectations and they had come up with ideas they have not considered many of which could well be implemented.

Following the deliberation of the judges Tim Brigstocke announced the winning team on theJH Walter stand at the Lincolnshire Show, Ian Walters made the presentation of the IAgrM 2016 Farm Planner trophies and Ross added a really nice touch by giving each one of the finalists an Amazon voucher to go with their trophy.

Thanks go to Farmplan, Farmers weekly, Barclays, Frontier and JH Walter for there support with this competition.

2017IAgrM FarmPlanner Competition:

Well that was the 2016 IAgrM Farmplanner competition and planning is well in hand for the 2017 competition which will start with the farm visit taking place in November 2016! This is a change of timings following discussions with the lecturers earlier this year so that the competition can better be incorporated within the curriculum.

Keydates for the next IAgrM FarmPlanner Competition:

· July 2016 Announcement of the host farming business

· September 2016 details if the farming business and questions available

· November 2016 farm business visit by the students

· March 2017 submission of the proposals

· April 2017 finals of the Competition

We will be sending out further details shortly, these will include, hopefully, a significant extra prize for the winning team that one of the sponsors is looking into providing (more later)!

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions re the IAgrM FarmPlanner competition or the other activities of IAgrM.