Jimmy Warnock, MBE FRAgS, chairman of the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society, will be the guest assessor for this year’s AgriScot silage competition.
The keenly contested AgriScot silage competition, which has £5000 worth of prizes up for grabs courtesy of sponsor, Watson Seeds, is open for entry until 29th October.
Initial entry is by email, with farmers asked to submit their analysis reports. Those with the best analysis will then be invited to enter a sample for judging at the farm business event in November.
In 2017, for the first time, the live sample assessment was carried out in the main AgriScot show ring, with a critique given by independent assessor Hugh McClymont to great acclaim. This year Mr Warnock has agreed to join Hugh in the assessment and commentary.
Competition organiser, Andrew Best, explains more:
“It was great to see the AgriScot silage competition take a more prominent part in the proceedings on the day.”
“The live assessment and critique gave visiting farmers much more of a chance to learn about the winning samples, and some of the secrets behind their success.”
“For 2018 we believe that this could be an even more interesting and informative attraction, and we are therefore delighted that Jimmy Warnock has agreed to come on board to assist Hugh McClymont.”
“We have witnessed a very different grass growing season in 2018, certainly when compared with 2017. I have no doubt that this will be reflected in the silage analysis reports that we receive.”
“The take-home message I got from Hugh McClymont’s thoughts on the 2017 samples is that “silage is concentrate in a clamp, so attention to detail is essential”!”
“I know from speaking to some of our customers that the settled dry period this year certainly allowed time to give attention to detail, even if the drought led to smaller crops. It will also be interesting to see how some of the cuts taken later than normal to compensate for poor growth rates, fair in terms of quality.”
The AgriScot silage competition is open for entries to 4 classes: dairy farm clamp, beef/sheep farm clamp, big bale and young farmer (any grass silage produced by a farmer under 26 years of age).
In 2017, the winning silage in the “dairy clamp” class was produced by Andrew Baird, on Auchontroch, Lesmahagow, it was 34.7 dry matter, with metabolisable energy of 12.3 and crude protein 14.8.
In 2nd place was Paul Wandsworth’s silage from Big Balcraig, Newton Stewart. A sample from Robert Hamilton of Barmoorhill, Tarbolton was 3rd.
The beef and sheep silage class saw a farm from south of the Border take top honours with the silage made by the Lilburn Estates team at North Middleton, Wooler ranked number 1. This was 40.9 dry matter, 11.1 metabolisable energy and 14.5 crude protein. Second place went to Drew Wilson, Greenhead Farm, Rescobie, Angus and Harry Hiddleston of Park Farm, Dumfries produced the third-placed beef and sheep silage.
In the Big Bale silage class, Colin Davidson of Halymyre, Castle Douglas was awarded first prize with a silage of 40.5DM, 12.1ME and 14.9CP. A Newton Mearns unit, Burnhouse, farmed by Iain Reid produced the 2nd placed sample with 49.8DM,11.7ME, 12.3CP.
The third-place ticket in this class travelled home to Shetland as a reward for the silage making skills for Kevin Tait, Fairkyknowe, Bigton.
The young farmers class, for silage producers under 26yo, also attracted top class silage samples and was won by Sean Brotherston of Wormiston, Peebles with silage analysed as 27.2DM, 11.8ME and 13.6 protein. Robert Ramsay from Lodge of Kelton, Castle Douglas produced the 2nd placed silage and Andrew McWilliam of Colfin, Stranraer was third.