Published on 9th July 2021
Crop Production Magazine’s (CPM) acting co-editor Charlotte Cunningham has won the 2021 IAgrE award for the best article or broadcast highlighting the vital role of engineering in modern food and energy production.
The award is kindly sponsored by the Institution of Agricultural Engineers, the professional body for engineers, scientists, technologists, and managers in the land-based sector.
Charlotte’s piece detailed a farm diversification project which embraces growing lucerne and on-floor bulk drying of this and other forage crops for the animal feed market using heat from an anaerobic digester and from a ground source pump system.
Runner-up was freelancer Nick Fone for a piece in Farmers Weekly about a farmer trying to engineer a solution to effective undersowing of maize to grass to prevent nitrate leaching after rainfall.
Judges said all entries were of a high standard.
Of Charlotte’s report they said: “The piece has clear descriptions of the technologies involved and of the pros and cons of this approach. The article provides plenty of food for thought and first-hand experience for other growers to consider.
“A clearly presented journey for the farming business through change, the identification of other complementary uses for existing on farm technology and delivering a benefit across economics, carbon footprinting and energy efficiency.”
Judges said Nick’s article provided detail from trials carried out on the farm and a handy 'lessons learned' summary.
“It also provides additional content covering trials with different machinery being conducted elsewhere. Any farmer in a similar situation reading this article would pick up a lot of pointers and opinion based on first-hand experience,” the judges continued.
The two winners will share a £1,500 prize pot, with their awards presented at this year’s Harvest Lunch, to be held at London’s Pewterer’s Hall on October 7.
Now in its eighth year, the IAgrE award celebrates articles or broadcasts by Guild members covering topics in the agriculture, horticulture, forestry, amenity or rural environment sectors.