The top silage growers in Northern Ireland have been honoured in the 23rd annual Ulster Farmers’ Union Silage Competition, sponsored by Ecosyl (Volac) and John Thompsons & Sons.
Roger and Hilary Bell of the Ballyclare Group (Beef and Sheep), Beattie Lilburn of the Mid Down Group (Dairy) and Rowreagh Farms of the Ards Group (Alternative Forage) have been honoured as the top growers in the competition with over 350 farmers across the union’s twenty-five groups entering.
UFU president Ian Marshall said: “It is a fantastic achievement for these farmers to come out on top in our silage competitions, which attract hundreds of entries each year.
“The UFU’s annual silage competition has always encouraged excellence and healthy competition among producers and they should be extremely proud of their efforts.
“These are exceptionally well run farm businesses which take pride in the forage which they produce. Our sponsors, CAFRE, UFU group managers and most importantly the farmers have worked hard on ensuring we had a great competition and I would like to thank them all for the positive way in which they participated.”
Speaking on behalf of the sponsors Ecosyl (Volac) and John Thompson and Sons, Derek Nelson said: “We are very proud to be associated with the silage competition as forage quality has a huge impact on the success and profitability of many farms in Northern Ireland.
“We are delighted to be involved with such a progressive event and already we are looking forward to next year’s competition.”
Competition judge Ann Brown from CAFRE stated: “It was really positive to see the enthusiasm and confidence on the farms we visited.
“The winning farmers’ focus on silage quality, effluent control and farm safety was excellent, with the dry summer providing the perfect opportunity for quality silage to be harvested.
“It was a pleasure to visit so many excellent farm businesses and to be involved in this prestigious competition.”
The full list of winners is:
1st Beattie Lilburn
2nd Robin Macauley
3rd Hugh Park
Beef and sheep
1st Roger and Hilary Bell
2nd Brian Cromie
3rd Ivor Purcell
1st Rowreagh Farms
2nd Kenny Malcolmson
3rd John McCollum