One of the UK’s top arable farmers has praised the winners of this year’s Winter Wheat Challenge – a team from SRUC's Edinburgh campus.

Scott Campbell, a former Scottish college student – who last month was named Arable Farmer of the Year – was at AgriScot to present the team with the annual award.

Sponsored by the Mains of Loirston Charitable Trust, the Winter Wheat Challenge asks teams to make management decisions on their own plots, including variety, seed rate, fertiliser and crop protection. The winners were those who made the best return after paying variable costs.

Pitting teams from Aberdeen and Edinburgh against each other, this is the second year in succession the trophy has made its way to the capital.

The triumphant King’s Buildings quintet comprised Allan Ferrie (Newcastleton), Charlie Fullarton (Kelso), Gareth Hall (Galashiels), Conner McCaig (Newton Stewart) and Gregor Service (Stranraer).

While not producing the highest average yield over the competition’s three sites, they delivered an average yield of 8.7 tonnes/ha with Elicit, a Group 3 soft wheat. The highest-yielding crop (9.3 tonnes/ha, from a crop of KWS Lili) was achieved by the second-placed team from Edinburgh, but the winners grew their crop with lower input costs.

A grain sample from each team was sent to WN Lindsay for analysis to provide a spot price. The winners were offered £140 per tonne for their grain, close to the highest price of £143 per tonne offered to the second-placed team.