AFTER REPORTS of a bumper-yielding year for silage, Scotland’s best producers put their products to the test and under the watchful eye of judge Hugh McClymont, who once again judged a competitive AgriScot silage competition.

He was joined by guest judge and former chair of RHASS, Jimmy Warnock, to analyse the samples in the main ring before deciding the best silage from each of the four categories including; dairy and beef clamps silages; the big bale silage category and a young farmers class for producers under 26 years of age to enter any pit silage.

Topping the beef category was Andrew McFadzean of Dalchomie Farm who provided a cut from May, 15 this year, which was analysed at 31.7 dry matter, 12.3 metabolisable energy and 16.2 crude protein. Runner up went to Robert Black of Drochil Castle Farm and third place to Murray Cooper who farms at Backhill of Thornton.

Winning the dairy category was Brian Weatherup of Parkend Farm with a sample analysed at 31.3 dry matter, 12.2 metabolisable energy and 15.8 crude protein. Reserve went to Willie Cuthbertson of Drummuir Farm and third to Scott Calderwood of Holme Farm.

The Big Bale Silage category was awarded to Redknock Estate with a sample analysed at 14.93 crude protein, 12.41 metabolisable energy and 71.7 dry matter. Runner-up was awarded to Philip and David Clark of Ballylagan Farm Ltd and third place to John Watson of High Mark Farm.

The young farmers class for producers under 26 was won by Thomas Birkett of West Cairgaggan (Craigcosh). His winning sample was analysed at 37.6 dry matter, 12.1 metabolisable energy and 15.5 crude protein. Second and third went to Mark and Robert Hunter of West Tarbrax Farm and Fraser Thomson of Kirkton of Beith Farm, Receptively.

Prizes worth over £5000 were awarded courtesy of Watson Seeds, in the hope of encouraging farmers to better evaluate their silage and silage growing strategies.

Competition organiser, Andrew Best of Watson Seeds commented: “This year we’ve had twelve excellent entries for the dairy, beef, big bale and young farmer categories, all of whom were very commendable in quality and attention to detail that has gone into producing these samples, and this year is the first year that the beef entries had superseded the dairy entries.”