THE 2017/18 FWGS ALL-WALES CLAMP SILAGE COMPETITION winner is Glamorgan Grassland Society Secretary CHRIS EDWARDS OF R D EDWARDS & SON, PWLLYWRACH FARM, COLWINSTON, COWBRIDGE.

The Judging Panel agreed that Pwllywrach Farm as a whole package, is well managed within a very tidy system. Whilst the analyses on the quality of the silage (tested by Agri-Lloyd) is important, the judges also visit each farm to assess clamp management and feeding practices amongst other efficiency markers.

This year’s judging panel consisted of technical judge John Evans; Industry sponsor Dr Huw McConochie; and the 2016/17 Clamp Silage competition winner William Lawrence from Pembrokeshire.

All judges were totally satisfied that the winning combination demonstrated how to make the best and most appropriate use of the fodder available; and the growth rates and weight gains achieved by feeding only 3kg of barley per day with excellent combination of grass silage, whole crop and lucerne silages were very impressive.

Pwllywrach Farm (_tr. Witches Pool Farm_) has the perfect potion for feeding the 140 sucklers, 350 growing and finishing cattle and the 1800 ewe flock. The farm is situated in the Vale of Glamorgan, sitting 80m above sea level on a south-westerly aspect.

The foundation of the winter ration analysed at DM 34.9%, D-value 72.7%, ME 11.6 MJ/kg and CP 12.1% showing high intake levels and a very well made crop.

150 acres was taken for first cut on the 14th of May – the crop was wilted for 24hrs and the ensiling process completed in a day. There was a second cut of 75 acres and a third cut of 50 acres taken making up a total 1650t. The additional extras grown on the farm are 100 tonnes of Hay and the protein crops of 75t Lucerne and 75t Red Clover silages and Wheat Straw. These ingredients are mixed in a Triolet 20 cubic metre tub mixer to provide the correct diet for each enterprise.

The runner-up to this year’s very close run competition was dairy farmer RICHARD MORRIS, BOWETT FARM, HUNDLETON (Cleddau Grassland Society). Bowlett Farm is a 500 acre farm with 430 dairy cows, 4 bulls, and 250 young stock.  The foundation of the winter ration analysed at DM 34.5%, D-value 75.5%, ME 12.1 MJ/kg and CP 17.1%.

In 3rd place was IOAN JONES, RHYDONNEN, LLANYCHAN, RUTHIN (Clwyd Grassland Society). Rhydonnen is a 222 acre dairy and sheep farm at 50m asl. The dietary component analysis were: DM 30.4%, D-value 78.1%, ME 12.5 MJ/kg and CP 17.1%.

The other two successful finalists were Geraint Powell, Glanmiheli, Kerry, Newtown (Upper Severn Grassland Society) and David Phillips, Fferm Trebared, Gwbert Road, Cardigan (Cardigan Grassland Society).

CHARLIE MORGAN, FWGS SECRETARY SAID “it is very encouraging to see the quality of home produced forages and the attention to detail farmers demonstrate in order to reduce costs and improve efficiencies across all enterprises”, and expressed his congratulations to all who took part and achieved the high standard necessary for this competition.

The All Wales Clamp Silage Competition is run in conjunction with the RWAS, and sponsored by Wynnstay, and is open to all members of the 21 Welsh Grassland Societies.

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