This week the Ulster Farmers’ Union recognised Northern Ireland’s top silage growers of 2016 as the UFU and sponsors Ecosyl Products Ltd and John Thompson & Sons hosted their annual silage competition awards ceremony in the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick.
Henry Thompson & Sons of the West Antrim Group (Dairy), Roger & Hilary Bell of the Ballyclare Group (Beef and Sheep) and David Wallace of the South Antrim Group (Alternative Forage) took top honours in the competition which saw a record number of entries from farmers in each of the UFU’s 25 groups.
UFU Deputy President Ivor Ferguson said: “The UFU’s annual silage competition has always encouraged excellence and healthy competition among producers and once again, the competition entries were to the highest standard. 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 Products Ltd and John Thompson & Sons Derek Nelson said: “We saw some exceptional silage from farmers in each of the categories. Good forage is crucial for our industry and the winners can be rightly proud of their efforts. We are delighted to be sponsoring such a progressive event.”
Competition judge Alistair Boyle from CAFRE stated: “It was really positive to see the enthusiasm and confidence on each farm which we visited and notably the number of young farmers making decisions and driving their businesses forward. The attention to detail on the farms was very impressive and despite weather difficulties, the winning farmers have excelled.”
The full list of winners is as follows:
Dairy: 1st, Henry Thompson & Sons, Randalstown; 2nd, John Blair, Larne; 3rd, Watson Spence, Waringstown.
Beef & Sheep: 1st, Roger and Hilary Bell, Kells; 2nd, McKelvey Brothers, Hillsborough; 3rd, Matthew Harrison, Portadown.
Alternative Forage: 1st David Wallace, Carmavey; 2nd Smiddie Hill Farm, Newtownards; 3rd Robert McAuley, Rathfriland.