While there is no Fermanagh County Show, the organisers, Fermanagh Farming Society, are continuing with their successful Fermanagh Suckler Cow Classic with prize money of £1,500 and the Breed Heifer Derby with £500 prize money.

In addition this year they are launching the Top Flock Sheep Competition for farmers in the county.

The suckler herds competition will aim to identify the best Suckler Cow Herd and the best replacement Breeding Heifers judged on farm in County Fermanagh.

This year, stock will be judged on farm and winners announced at the prize night in the autumn when all entrants will be invited to attend.

No other agricultural society in Northern Ireland is promoting commercial suckler herds in this way.

Entries are now open for applications from farmers from across Fermanagh who promote good farming practices, run a herd of functional self-sustaining suckler cows, breeding calves suitable for the present commercial market, and who retain functional, fit for purpose replacement heifers.

A spokesperson for the Society said: "In this way it is our intention to promote efficiency and sustainability within our suckler cow/calf production sector as a benchmark for future practices.

“With all input costs rising to unfathomable levels, we believe in steering toward less wasteful practices currently taking place across the competition sphere.”

The Suckler Cow Classic will offer £750 for first prize, £500 for second and £250 for third place.

"We are looking for a herd of functional non-pedigree suckler cows, efficient, easy to feed, milky, profitable, rearing a calf born after January 1, 2024 with excellent growth potential and suitable for today’s market.”

Those herds wishing to enter will be judged on farm during August. Farmers who win the Herd Competition are ineligible to enter the following year.

Entries are on hard-copy forms between June 10 and July 1 with the forms downloaded from the website, www.fermanaghcountyshow.com.

The Collum John Graham Memorial Cup will be awarded to the best Suckler Cow herd in the competition

The Breeding Heifer Derby is sponsored by Lakeland Veterinary Services and attracts prize money of £250 for first; £150 for second and £100 for third.

This competition is open to those who have entered the herds competition and have three or more homebred breeding heifer replacements with potential to produce and rear calves of good confirmation and growth potential suitable for the current beef markets.

The criteria is as follows:

The competition is open to all breeds of non-pedigree heifers, with the potential to rear a calf for current beef market. Heifers must be born on or after January 1, 2023 and may be in calf.

Judge will choose the winners by visual assessment.

Applications are on hard-copy forms downloaded from the Show website between June 10 and July 1.

A new competition this year will be to find the best overall commercial flock of crossbred ewes and replacement ewe hoggets.

The Champion Flock will be selected from the winners of Classes 1 and 2 and they will be presented with the Smyth Feeds and Seeds Cup.

Sponsorship by Top Flock will provide £225 prize money.

With the continual focus on efficiency and sustainability in commercial sheep flocks across Northern Ireland, Fermanagh Farming Society are launching the competition to identify the best overall crossbred commercial breeding flock with lambs at foot, and the best flock of replacement crossbred ewe Hoggets suitable for breeding, and rearing lambs in the following spring.

Flocks will be judged on farm during late June and winners announced at the prize night in autumn, and all prize winners will be invited to attend.

The Society spokesperson added: “This is a first for any agricultural body to develop this competition for the sheep sector.

“We invite applications from farmers with flocks who are based across Fermanagh who promote good management practices and disease control, run a flock of crossbred breeding ewes mated with above-average rams to rear lambs with a high lambing percentage suitable for the present commercial fat lamb outlets, or ewe lambs suitable for replacement Hoggets.”

Application forms are available to download now from the Show website, and entries must be in by May 31.