Cereals success for team led by Spalding student

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Spalding student Josh Parkinson led a team of Riseholme College trainees to success at this year’s Cereals Challenge.

The team – made up of team captain Josh, Thomas Wilson, Ryan Wrisdale and George Thompson – beat off competition from universities and colleges around the country to take home the silver medal position in the Challenge.

The students took complete responsibility for a plot of winter rye in mid-February, and were tasked with growing and marketing the crop.

They were responsible for all aspects of the crop until last week, when their efforts were judged by technical director at Velcourt Keith Norman, Hutchinsons’ technical manager Dick Neale, and a representative from the Cereals team.

They were challenged to provide agronomic recommendations based on effective input cost management, estimated crop yield and the quality, as well as the marketing of the crop.

Marked down only by a decision not to include sufficient growth regulator, the team was praised for its average potential crop yield, which was the highest overall yield in the challenge at an estimated 7.75 tonnes per hectare.

The college beat off stiff competition to secure an admirable second place – up from fourth in 2014 – with Easton & Otley College winning.