IS YOUR silage better than the rest? The search is on for Scotland's best silage samples in the annual AgriScot silage competition, where £5000 worth of prizes are up for grabs – and this year, a new class has been launched specifically for beef farmers.

Competition organiser, Andrew Best, explained: “There is no doubt, summer 2017 will be one which many grassland farmers wish to forget. Silage making has undoubtedly been a real struggle over large parts of the country.

“For dairy farmers in a four, or more, cut system, the weather early in the season was ideal for the production of low volume, but high-quality silage. From June and July onwards, when most of the silage is made on beef and sheep farms, the weather has been nothing short of a nightmare."

He continued: “However, in a challenging year, when silage quality may be compromised, analysing samples from pits, clamps and bale stacks to ascertain feeding value is even more important than normal if animal performance is to be optimised in the coming winter months.

“Many livestock farmers do analyse their silage, and we have been encouraged by the increasing numbers entering their analysis reports into our AgriScot competition each year," said Mr Best.

“In previous years, most of our entries, and therefore winners, have come from dairy farms. For 2017 we are giving beef and sheep farmers the chance to compete in their own dedicated clamp silage class, for the chance to win 10 acres worth of grass seed mixture.”

The AgriScot silage competition is split into four classes: Dairy farm clamp; Beef / sheep farm clamp; Young Farmers (under 26); and Big Bale.

Silage analysis reports, along with contact details, should be emailed to for the first stage of judging. These will subsequently be whittled down into a top five list for each class. The top silages will then be judged at AgriScot as fresh samples by independent assessor Hugh McClymont from Crichton Royal Farm, Dumfries.