Top farmers praised for their management skills

Published: 25 Feb 2011 09:000 comments

Fermanagh farmers have been praised for the quality of their grazing management and their excellence of silage production at this year's annual dinner and awards organised by Fermanagh Grassland Club.

Alan Warnock (left) Chairman of Fermanagh Grassland Club, is presented with the Houston Trophy by Ivan Henderson.

Representatives of the sponsors of both competitions, Northern Bank and Barenbrug UK, were full of praise for entrants in both competitions.

The grazing competition, sponsored by Northern Bank represented by Trevor Johnston, was judged by Don Morrow and Trevor Dunn.

Don, a beef and sheep adviser with DARD, summing up the judges' views, said that while 2010 was a year of mixed weather, it was clear to see that Fermanagh farmers maximised grass quality.

The results were;

Dairying section- 1(Stevenson Cup), Jonathan Wilson, Church Hill; 2, Kenneth Alcorn, Omagh; 3, James Murphy, Ballyreagh.

Beef section - 1(Todd Cup), Ivan Henderson, Lisnaskea; 2,John Kennedy, Kesh; 3, Robert McCrea, Fivemiletown.

Overall grazing competition winner - Jonathan Wilson.

Outlining the silage competition, David Linton, Northern Ireland manager of Barenbrug UK, said that 23 entrants had their silage analysis sent to AFBI for testing. The top entrants were then judged on their farms by David Linton accompanied by David Brown, Florencecourt.

David Linton described the standard of silage making as being very high and some of the silage analysis was extremely high. He said it was difficult to select a winner as there were so few points between the top few.

A number of criteria were used such as effluent control, farm safety, the management of stock and of course the silage quality and how it was used.

The winners were;

Under 700 tonnes - 1(Hermon Cup), Stephen Graham, Tempo; 2, Wesley Elliott, Rosslea; 3, Malcolm Hurst, Ballinamallard.

Over 700 tonnes - 1(Tisdall Cup), Kenneth Alcorn, Omagh; 2, Malcolm Hall, Lisnaskea; 3, David Keys, Fivemiletown.

The first prizewinners in each section are eligible for a Vaughan Trust award towards a study tour.

Fermanagh Grassland Club Vice-Chairman, Ivan Henderson, outlined the winner of the Houston Trophy, which is awarded each year to the person who has made a significant contribution towards agriculture in Fermanagh.

This year's recipient of the Houston Trophy was Alan Warnock, who has just been elected Chairman of the Club, for his work with farmers over many years.

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