Magherafelt grower wins 2018 Spring Barley Competition

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The Ulster Farmers’ Union along with the sponsors Origin NI & BASF, sponsors of the UFU Spring Barley Cereal Competition, have again paid recognition to the first class growers here in Northern Ireland.

This year a prestigious first place was awarded to Jonathan Hamilton of the UFU South Londonderry Group with their high quality crop of spring barley topping the judges score sheets. Securing a close second place was James McClelland of the North West Derry group. A respectable third place was then awarded to Leslie Dunn of the North Tyrone group.

On behalf of the 2018 judges, Leigh McClean (CAFRE) said: “It was great to see excellent quality of competition entrants from across the province despite a challenging season. The wet spring resulting in late sowing and the subsequent dry weather has given rise to drought like conditions undoubtedly reducing yield potential particularly in Counties Down and Armagh. The upside of drier than normal weather means disease levels were lower than we usually experience.

“Congratulations to the winner and those placed and thanks to all for their obvious hard work and dedication to growing great quality cereals in Northern Ireland.”

UFU deputy president David Brown praised the efforts of farmers who had produced excellent crops, noting that the spring barley competition had been closely fought between the top growers in Northern Ireland. David said: “The standard of entries was once again exceptionally high and all finalists deserve recognition for the high quality crop they produce. I would like to thank sponsors Origin NI and BASF for their support of the UFU cereals competition and also extend thanks to our UFU members and group office teams who made the competition possible.”