A successful start

The group at Michael O'Learys Farm, CEO of Ryanair Airlines.
The group at Michael O'Learys Farm, CEO of Ryanair Airlines.

The NW Derry UFU Group have again had another successful year in 2019 under the chairmanship of Alan Hunter with help from vice chairman Mary Hunter.

The winter programme of meetings have so far been well attended. The winter meetings are always a great opportunity to incite new ideas as well as have some lively debate.

Cereal Competition NI awards day. Left to right: Andrew Blair, NW Derry Cereal Committee representative, Hugh McCollum and Lowry McCollum, 2nd place winter wheat  competition NI level, David Oliver, NW Derry Group Manager, David Gault and Ian Gault, 3rd place in Spring Barley Competition NI Level, Richard Blair, NW Derry Cereal Committee member.

Cereal Competition NI awards day. Left to right: Andrew Blair, NW Derry Cereal Committee representative, Hugh McCollum and Lowry McCollum, 2nd place winter wheat competition NI level, David Oliver, NW Derry Group Manager, David Gault and Ian Gault, 3rd place in Spring Barley Competition NI Level, Richard Blair, NW Derry Cereal Committee member.

In November it was great to see 25 members attend our group trip. A great trip was had by all. After a long journey and also a tyre blowout we made it to the farm of Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair Airlines, in Seapoint, Fennor, Co. Westmeath, an impressive farm to see around and it was clear to see he had a great passion for farming.

Following an overnight stay at the City North Hotel we travelled to Baldongan, Co. Dublin to the home of Country Crest owner Michael Hoey. Michael Hoey has a large collection of vintage agricultural tractors and equipment, even non tractor enthusiast would have enjoyed this day out as the shear scale and presentation of the collection on show was one that wouldn’t be matched anywhere else in the UK. Overall a great trip was had by all, thanks to all those who attended.

In December we held our Cereal meeting with two great speakers, AHDB Strategy Director Martin Grantley-Smith and Monitor Farmer Richard Orr providing updates where AHDB see the cereal industry in the future and also on current trials being undertaken on Richard’s farm.

The cereal competition again was held this year and as always was very keenly contested. Boyd and Alex Kane once again won the group Winter Barley cup, James Wray picked up the cup for Oats, David and Ian Gault won the Spring Barley competition and went on to take 3rd place at National level.

Hugh and Lowry McCollum picked up 1st in the Winter Wheat section and went on to claim 2nd place at National level. This was an excellent result for the group and demonstrates the knowledge and expertise in this sector within the group.

NW Derry UFU group would like to remind members of upcoming meetings. The President’s Area Meeting is on Monday 27th January at 8pm at the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine. Our Annual General Meeting is on Monday 10th February at the Roe Park Resort, Limavady. James McCluggage, UFU Policy Manager, will be present to conduct the AGM and give a UFU update on all issues which the UFU are currently dealing with. It would be great to see a good turnout at both these meetings.