Awards see big improvements in forage levels

THE Mole Valley Farmers’ forage for profit awards has revealed good progress in the art and science of forage making.

Launched in 2009, the competition is designed to encourage and support farmers in producing better quality and higher quantities of forage.

Mole Valley Farmers has analysed over 3,000 forage samples from UK farmer members each year since 2009 and has seen strong progress and a good rise in metabolisable energy (ME) levels.

Graham Ragg, Mole Valley Farmer’s arable and fertiliser sales manager says: “Initially our analysis in 2009 showed an average of only 10.3 ME across the 3,000 forage samples, which is just maintenance level. In 2010 it had risen to 10.8 and for 2011 the average was 11.1, with some farmers managing as high as 12 ME.

The entrants were visited on farm by a different panel of industry expert judges for each category.

The winners were selected after forage clamp and bale management, rationing systems, reseeding programmes, cutting date awareness, enterprise profitability and forage analysis results, had all been considered by the judges.

The winners

  • Dairy forage: Pete Turner, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire
  • Beef and sheep forage: Richard and Jean Tully, South Hams, Devon
  • Most improved forage: Tom Dening, Yeovil, Somerset
  • Maize forage: Graham and Jill Duke, Launceston, Cornwall
  • Big bale forage: Aled Rees, Cardigan, West Wales
  • Grazing forage: Bill and David Saunders, Bodmin, Cornwall

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