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Despite lockdown the RWAS continues to recognise excellence within the Agricultural Industry

THE 2020 All Wales Clamp and Big Bale Silage Competitions run in conjunction with the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society and the Federation of Welsh Grassland Societies, have this year again seen some top quality silage produced by many of the best silage growers from across Wales.

Every year both silage competitions are amongst the most contested competitions in the industry and the Society are delighted that these competitions could be adjudicated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

All Wales Clamp Silage Competition
The winner of the 2020 Clamp Silage Competition, kindly sponsored by Wynnstay Group PLC and supported by Agri Lloyd International Ltd, is Mr Michael Williams, Fagwrfran East, Puncheston; with a very close runner-up Mr David Lee, Winnington Green, Middletown, Welshpool.

Fagwrfran East, Puncheston
Fagwrfran East is a 310 acre beef, dairy and sheep farm. The farm sits 85% South facing at 750ft asl on free draining acid loamy soil type. They milk 145 cows producing 11,300l/cow (4.1% Butterfat 3.5% Protein); as well as sheep and over 200 young beef and dairy stock. 135 acres were taken for first cut, 110 as second and 100 acres of third cut – Total tonnage ensiled 1995t. Analysis showed an ME of 12.7 and CP of 13.5%

Winnington Green, Middletown, Welshpool
The family have a 450 acres dairy and beef farm with 420 Dairy cows as well as 90 followers annually and 80 beef calves. Tack ewes are taken for wintering. Yields are 5300l/cow (4.74% Butterfat 3.82% Protein). Three cuts harvested last year (late April, June and July) with 128 acres taken for first cut, 136 for second cut and 111 acres for third cut. Total tonnage ensiled 1665t. Analysis also showed excellent silage with ME of 12.0 and CP of 16.2%

The three other successful Regional Winners were:
Bryn a William Jones, Ty Newydd Farm, Abersoch
Ben Williams of DR & AL Williams, Gwastod, Abermeurig, Lampeter
Edward Williams, Pant-y-Cwcw Farm, Llanbadoc, Usk.

The lead Judge, Mr John Evans expressed his satisfaction on reporting what “a privilege it was to judge this year’s competition. We had two very good days, with a very difficult decision at the end, since all five finalists were very close. We saw very well made and extremely well stored silages. All the finalists were keen to get the best out of their forage and the result was a close decision. The two days were made interesting by the range of techniques employed by the farmers, all of whom were determined to do a good job with their particular system.”

All Wales Big Bale Competition
The winner of the 2020 Big Bale Competition, kindly sponsored by BPI Agriculture (Silotite), is Mr Keith Williams, Haverhill Farm, Spittal. This year’s competition gave judges – Dr Dave Davies, (Silage Solutions); Stuart Anthony (BPI Agri); and Alan Davies, Llys Farm, Denbigh (2019 competition winner), a very difficult task to pull apart the winners, since they felt that three were pushing more for production from forage based systems.

These three were Mr Keith Williams Haverhill Farm Spittal; Mr Marc Jones, Trefnant Hall, Welshpool and Mr Eurig Jenkins Pentrefelin, Talsarn. They were all running farming systems where forage be that freshly consumed or preserved provided the majority if not all of the feed. After much deliberation the winner was chosen as Keith Williams, who’s silage analysis was superior to all other finalists with 16.9 % Crude protein and a metabolisable energy content of 11 MJ/kg DM. Keith feeds zero concentrate winter or summer and contract rears dairy heifers from 1 year old to 1 month pre calving when they return to the owner. His system relies on high quality baled silage as the sole source of nutrition during the housing period, likewise summer feeding is solely grazed grass. The whole feeding and housing management system was simple but effective and his silage was devoid of any visible spoilage.

Judge Dave Davies commented “The efficiency of utilization and reduction in wastage improves each year. 2020 was the worst year for weather conditions in the last 15 years of judging and yet wastage was minimal.” The judges failed to separate 2nd and 3rd places and so awarded Mr Marc Jones Trefnant Hall and Mr Eurig Jenkins, Pentrefelin as joint runners up; with Mr Edward Jones, Parciau Home Farm, Marianglas, Anglesey and Mr Richard Isaac, Mynachdy Farm, Ynysbwl, as very worthy Regional Winners.

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society would like to take this opportunity to thank the Federation of Welsh Grassland Societies and the sponsors BPI Silotite, Wynnstay, and Agri Lloyd for their continued commitment and support in running the All Wales Silage competitions.

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