The top silage makers in the north and north-east have been unveiled by the North of Scotland Grassland Society (Norgrass).
The society’s annual silage competition attracted entries from across the Black Isle to Kincardineshire.
A shortlist of 10, which was drawn up based on analysis for dry matter, ME, crude protein and intake factor, was then visited by judge John Shand of Chapelford Farm, Clochan, near Buckie.
Mr Shand, who has won the pit section several times in the past, visited all the farms over a two-day period in January.
He assessed pit management based on lack of waste across the shoulders, side and top of the pit. He was also tasked with checking face uniformity, effluent and manure and slurry management, grass and livestock performances. Lastly, he checked baled storage and utilisation.
Mr Shand said: “Although the summer of 2015 was very wet the entries which made the short leet produced exceptionally high dry matter silages. I was particularly impressed with the samples from the top entrants in both the pit and bale section, both of which scored extremely high marks on analysis and were also closely matched in other aspects of the on-farm inspection.”
Taking the BP Norgrass Trophy for the overall winner in the pit section was Andrew Farquharson of the Finzean Farming Partnership, Finzean, Banchory.
The Farquharson family are regular competitors in the competition and this was the first time they won the overall title.
Their winning silage, which scored 28.26 out of a possible 35 for analysis and 64 out of a possible 65 during the on-farm inspection, is being fed to their weaned calves and finishing cattle.
Second place in the pit section and the Harbro Trophy for the best new entrant in the section was awarded to dairy farmer and chairman of NFU Scotland’s north-east region, Roddy Catto of Hillhead of Muirton, Whitecairns, Aberdeenshire.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Don, Freefield, Insch, was crowned the winner of the bale competition as well as the Grays of Fetterangus Quality Silage trophy.
The runner-up in the bale competition went to G & A Whitelaw, Greenmyre, Oldmeldrum, while the George McCaig Ryeside Cup for the best new entrant in the bale section was won by Brian McIntosh, Mains of Tarryblake, Rothiemay, Huntly.
The Finzean Farming Partnership will now go forward to represent the Norgrass in the Scottish Silage Competition.
All trophies will be formally presented to winners at the society’s annual meeting on March 17.