NW Derry Group prize giving

NW Derry Farmers Group held its Beef Meeting with prize giving for the winners of the 2010 Silage Competition which this year Alltech sponsored.

The winners in the Beef & Sheep Class were first place SJ Wilson & Son from Dungiven and second place went to Alwyn McFarlane also from Dungiven. First place went to John McCollum from Ballykelly and second place to Ian Buchanan from Dungiven who won the Dairy Class and consequently the Maize Class. First place for all classes was awarded with a cup and vouchers while second place was awarded with vouchers. These prizes were sponsored by Alltech and presented by Clarence Calderwood from United Feeds on behalf of Alltech. Further congratulations to SJ Wilson & Son who came first overall in the Beef & Sheep class in the Northern Ireland Silage Competition.

Clarence gave a short presentation to the members.

“With farm inputs being so expensive it makes more sense than ever to make high quality silage in 2011. It is essential to control what you can on the farm to reduce feed loss and feed value loss,” he said.

He advised on cutting, wilting and clamp management but focused mainly on the fermentation process and how Alltech’s Sil-All 4x4 can enhance this.

“More performance from silage in 2011 is absolutely necessary and that if we control what we can it is absolutely achievable,” he added.

William Sherrard from Pfizer identified common problems in suckler herds such as infertility and diseases in young calves. He explained that infertility could be due to the general health of the bull or the body condition score of the cow at calving.

Final speaker was Ray Elkin, Chairman of the UFU Beef & Lamb Committee, who outlined facts and figures such as in 1998 that beef cow numbers had reached a peak of 340,000 and since then numbers have fallen to 256,000.

The final item on NW Derry Group’s Winter Programme is the Cereal Meeting to be held at the Radisson Hotel, Limavady at 8pm on Monday 7th March. The speakers on the night will be Steve Townsend from Agrimax and Douglas Nesbitt from Albon Recycling.

Finally the NW Derry Group annual trip is to the Highland Show from 23rd to 26th June. Members are asked to contact the office on 028 777 62996 for further details and to reserve your place.