Researchers behind practical science projects, already effectively contributing to on-farm improvements, are being encouraged to enter the Oxford Farming Conference and Royal Agricultural Society of England Practice with Science Award.
The £10,000 prize will recognise applied scientific work that has resulted in valuable benefits to practical agriculture and farm performance.
"The award is now in its third year and its aim is to recognise the often hidden contributors to farming – the researchers and developers working on practical solutions to everyday farming activities," explained Oxford Farming Conference co-chairman Adrian Ivory.
"As a farmer myself, innovation and improvement are constants for progressing my business. I rely heavily on the tremendous work near-farm researchers do.
"This award gives recognition to and rewards the applied scientists and developers getting their hands dirty on, or close, to farms."
The winner of the award in 2012 was Keenan, for their science-based work in feeding dairy and beef cattle through the Keenan Mech-fiber System. The 2011 winner was the Pig Grading Information System (PiGIS), developed by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute and College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise.
The Award is funded by the Oxford Farming Conference and the RASE with additional sponsored support from AB Agri. It aims to encourage and distinguish new thinking and innovation and is open to academics, researchers and commercial company employees.
Three areas of research merit will be sought by the award judges:
Novel and original application
Clear economic benefit to the industry, food chain and consumers
Improved sustainability through the more efficient use of resources.
The prize will be £10,000, of which £3,000, funded by AB Agri, will be awarded to the individual and £7,000, funded by the RASE and the OFC, to the institution or business at which the R&D team or individual is based. The latter money will be used to support further research work on the subject, through the support of a studentship, traineeship or the purchase of a piece of research equipment.
Application forms are available for download from the OFC website at www.ofc.org. uk. The closing date is September 13. The winner will be presented with the award at the 2014 Oxford Farming Conference.