Congratulations to Kyle Smyth from Clanabogan YFC who has been named the winner of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster 2020 silage making competition!
Phillip Donaldson, from Donaghadee YFC was placed second, with Alan Adams from Lisnamurrican YFC taking the third place. The remaining finalists who sadly missed out on a podium position were Lowry McCollum, City of Derry YFC, Andrew Boyes, Bleary YFC and Daniel Dunne, Kesh YFC.
The competition, sponsored by John Thompson & Sons Limited, began at the beginning of January with members from over 30 clubs throughout Northern Ireland taking part in regional heats. The highest scorer from each county then progressed to compete in the final.
The competitors were assessed by judges Ronald Annett from John Thompson & Sons Limited and David Dunlop, previous Club President of Hillsborough YFC. On Wednesday 29th January, judges travelled through the country to the farm of each finalist and carried out a visual inspection of the silage; taking into account its fermentation, digestibility and dry matter content as well as the sealing of the silo and the way in which the effluent was collected.
They also conducted an interview with each of the finalists in relation to how the silage was made and their current feeding policy.
Sponsor Ronald Annett, Thompsons Feeding Innovation, commented, “Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists on getting to this stage. The standards keep getting higher every year, which makes judging all the more difficult. Every finalist gave a first class interview and had an in-depth knowledge of silage making, which was borne out by the excellent quality of silages on display. What impressed me most was their enthusiasm for agriculture, and their passion to take farming forward. In the end it was almost impossible to pick a winner, and we (the judges) literally had to split hairs to decide our top three. Well done to our winner, Kyle Smyth from Clanabogan. Don’t forget that work on next year’s silage entries kicks off soon with Silage Season 2020!”
YFCU would like to thank the judges for giving up their time to make their expertise available. It would also like to extend a note of appreciation to John Thompson & Sons Limited for their continued support of this event.