The 2021 Brian Chambers award

Information about the entrants and winners in 2021.

Despite the constraints imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 award attracted another excellent selection of varied and high quality entries. A full complement of ten finalists was selected to display a poster at the Agronomic Conference, providing the judging panel with its usual challenging task.

The judges concluded that the research that justified winning the first prize of £1,000 was by Saoirse Cummins, of the University of Reading, UK. Her research investigated the effects of grassland sward composition on reducing nitrous oxide emissions and emissions intensity.

Her key conclusions were that grass-legume and multi-species swards receiving moderate N inputs reduced N2O emissions and emissions intensity and increased lamb productivity relative to monocultures. She also noted that further evidence from this project solidifies the role of diverse swards in climate-smart production systems.

View Saoirse’s poster

A short interview with Saoirse about her research has been recorded. To see it, click on the small white ‘play’ triangle above.

Of the two 2021 Runners up, John Langley, of Bangor University, Wales, investigated the impact of slurry acidification on soil and crop quality from a UK perspective. His trial work indicated that Nitrogen Usage Efficiency and the Nitrogen Fertiliser Replacement Value of the slurry were consistently greater for all acidified treatments compared to conventional slurry, with N offtake following a similar trend. This indicates that slurry acidification could be considered as a suitable tool to reduce UK ammonia emissions from agriculture.

View John’s poster

A short interview with John about his research has been recorded.

The other Runner up in 2021 was Wytse Vonk, of Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands. His research aimed to identify the cumulative effects of mineral fertiliser N application, by quantifying the difference between short- and long-term N recovery in harvested crop biomass. The difference between this and previous studies was that Wytse compared long-term N recovery (again with reference to a long term control plot) in a given year with first-year recovery measured in the same year. This enabled him to allow for confounding factors.

View Wytse’s poster

A short interview with Wytse about his research has been recorded.

As a consequence of many conference delegates having to ‘attend’ remotely, using a live stream, all ten Brian Chambers award finalists were asked if they would like to produce an optional, and non-evaluated, short video about their research, for the benefit of the remote attendees. All the finalists chose to do this, and their clips have been combined in the video below. Note that this was implemented at short notice and was somewhat experimental, resulting in variable outcomes.

Brian Chambers award

Find out more about the previous winners of the award.

2021 Brian Chambers Award 2020 Brian Chambers Award 2019 Brian Chambers Award 2018 Brian Chambers Award 2017 Brian Chambers award 2016 Brian Chambers award 2015 Brian Chambers award

Find out more about the Brian Chambers award

About the Brian Chambers Award Brian Chambers and the IFS