Downpatrick farmer has top winter barley

Winners of the UFU Winter Barley competition this year are share farmers Allan Chambers and Neill Patterson. Pictured in the winning field is L-R: Raymond Hilman, judging on behalf of sponsor Syngenta with winner Allan Chambers, and fellow judges Charlie Kilpatrick and Tom Merron.
Winners of the UFU Winter Barley competition this year are share farmers Allan Chambers and Neill Patterson. Pictured in the winning field is L-R: Raymond Hilman, judging on behalf of sponsor Syngenta with winner Allan Chambers, and fellow judges Charlie Kilpatrick and Tom Merron.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union, along with Winter Barley competition sponsors Syngenta, is pleased to announce that share farmers Allan Chambers and Neill Patterson of the UFU Mid Down Group have been awarded first place in the 2016 UFU Winter Barley Cereal Competition.

Second place this year was awarded to Alec and Graeme Warden from Newtownards, and scooping up a respectable third place was George and James McClelland from Limavady.

Commenting on winning this year’s competition Mr Chambers said: “I am delighted to have won the UFU Winter Barley Competition.

“This year the winter months brought adverse weather conditions and prolonged periods of rainfall making growing conditions more difficult than in previous times, however I am pleased that the ‘volume’ variety of crop stood firm against the unforeseen conditions.”

Mr Chambers added that the crop will soon be ready for harvesting and weather permitting he is looking forward to seeing the combine in the field within the next fortnight.

Speaking on behalf of the judges Raymond Hilman from Syngenta said: “We would like to congratulate all those who made it to the final on the high quality of the crops produced this year. The standard was exceptional this year and all the crops were a credit to the growers involved, especially the winning fields. Judging this year’s entries was no easy task, we covered over 300 miles and judged more than a dozen high quality fields. This highlights just how high the standard was for the 2016 competition.”

UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to all finalists, and thank all those who entered this year’s competition. The UFU Cereals Competition recognises the talent of cereal growers in Northern Ireland and there is still time for cereal growers to enter the Oats, Winter Wheat, and Spring Barley cereal competition categories for the cereal competition. If you wish to enter please contact your group manager for details of your local group competition deadline.”

The awards for the Winter Barley, Oats, Winter Wheat and Spring Barley cereal competition categories will be officially presented at the 2016 UFU and sponsors Cereals Competition Awards and lunch planned for later this year.