Ceredigion Farmer wins 2016 Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Grassland Trophy

9 July 2016

Welsh farmers are renowned as some of the world’s experts at growing grass as a crop and many of them compete for the annual All Wales Grassland Management Competition.

This prestigious competition is organised by the Federation of Welsh Grassland Societies (FWGS), who is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, in conjunction with Royal Welsh Agricultural Society and sponsored by HSBC and the trophy is presented to the winner at the Royal Welsh Show.

The 2016 winner is Mr Eurig Jenkins of Pentrefelin, Talsarn, Ceredigion a member of Mid Cardigan Grassland Society.

Along with his father and brother, Eurig farms 701 acres of permanent pasture, 250ft above sea level, at Pentrefelin Farm Ltd. The farm has a spring block calving system which starts on 1 February with 300 cows calving within the month. With 402 cows in milk, 127 bulling heifers and 137 weaned calves, the stock are grazed using a flexible paddock and strip grazing system and all silage is made in big bales. The heifers are out-wintered on deferred grazing, a practice done for the past eight winters, for the duration of which there has been no requirement to reseed these areas.

Performance of the dairy herd, fed 2.2kg 15% nut in parlour and 15kgDM grass, during the judging period was 23 l/cow, 4.09 b/f, 3.54 p = 1.75 milk solids per day.

This year’s judges, technical expert, Dr Heather McCalman, HSBC Regional Agriculture Manager in Wales, Euryn Jones and last year’s winner, Gethin Brown agreed that this year’s competition was a very closely contested competition and the standard of all finalists was exceptional. However Eurig Jenkins was deemed the cream of the crop.

“Key to the success of the dairy enterprise is using grazed grass efficiently with excellent cost control, well targeted inputs - all based on sound information.” Commented Dr Heather McCalman. The judges were very impressed with the level of monitoring and application of technology in all areas of the business resulting in marginal gains that improve efficiencies and environmental benefits.

Eurig will deliver a presentation at the FWGS 50th year AGM on 1 September 2016 where the details of the system will be shared.