Killinchy YFC member, Robin McMullan took the top spot in the final of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) annual soil assessment competition at the Northern Ireland Ploughing Championships in Co Antrim.
The contest, sponsored by Timac Agro Ireland, saw contestants get down to earth and assess a selected soil profile that tested their ability to distinguish important soil qualities such as texture and type. Competitors then had to relay to the judges the expected performance of the soils regarding drainage, cultivation, cropping, and fertilization practice.
The soil profiles were selected by expert judges Mr James Knox, Crops Development Advisor, CAFRE Greenmount Campus and Mr Robin Bolton, Crops Development Adviser from the DARD’s Limavady Office.
In addition to overseeing the adjudication of the event, the judges also offered their expert guidance to the competitors remarking on how the competition helps to develop an important skill which would benefit the contestants in their future farming careers.
YFCU vice President, Martyn Blair announced the results of the competition and Peter Barrett from Timac Agro Ireland presented the top three competitors with their prizes. In what was a very close competition, Robin McMullan, Killinchy YFC took first place and was presented with the prestigious BP Trophy and a cheque. In second place was Mark Scott, Newtownstewart YFC who received a cheque and in third place, James Purcell, Dungiven YFC who also received a cheque prize.
Martyn Blair brought the contest to a close with a word of thanks.
"On behalf of all that the YFCU I would like to extend a note of thanks to Timac Agro Ireland, in particular Dr. Peter Barrett, for supporting the competition for the fourth year in a row and special thanks must also go to Robin Bolton and James Knox for giving up their time to judge the competition. To the stewards for their help and lastly to all the competitors congratulations and well done for getting to the final of the contest,” said Martyn.
Pictured receiving their prizes from Dr Peter Barrett, Timac (l) are James Purcell (3rd place) Dungiven YFC, Robin McMullan (1st place) Killinchy YFC, Mark Scott (2nd place) Newtownstewart YFC with YFCU vice president Martyn Blair.
Competitors in action at the soil assessment final held at the NI Ploughing Championships.