1. Russell brothers from UFU North Tyrone Group, pictured Paul, Aaron, Mark, (front row) Lee and Ryan.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) along with oats competition sponsor Syngenta, are pleased to announce that Mark and Paul Russell from the UFU North Tyrone Group have been awarded first place in the 2023 UFU oats cereal competition.
Second place this year was awarded to Luke Dynes from the UFU Ards Group, and scooping up a respectable third place was Robert Lynn from the UFU North West Derry Group.
The county winners were:
- Antrim – David Chestnutt, North Antrim Group
- Armagh – Simon Best, Armagh Down Group
- Down – Alan and Niall Montgomery, Donard Group
- Derry/Londonderry – John A Johnston, South Londonderry Group
- Tyrone – Mark and Paul Russell, North Tyrone Group
Northern Ireland final judge Ethel White said, “Judging of seven oat crops across five counties happened recently. As always these are assessments of the crops on the day of judging, as crops continually change during the growing season. The three top crops were very pleasing with good disease and weed control, although one did have a few wild oats. These winning crops were dense with lots of shoots and lots of grains per panicle, augering high yields in the next few weeks. Lodging was observed in all crops to varying extents, from just a few small patches to extensive damage, over 60% of the area, in one crop. Altogether, wild oats were present in three of the crops, with a very dense patch in one case. Scores for the crops are heavily penalised when wild oats are present. Wild oats multiply readily from year to year in fields and contaminate grain for processing into oat products or for use as seed or in animal feed. Controlling them takes vigilance and can become expensive if manual roguing is not done during the earlier stages of an infestation.”
UFU deputy president John McLenaghan said, “I would like to extend my congratulations to all finalists and thank all those who entered this year’s competition and also to those that judged. The UFU cereals competition recognises the talent of cereal growers in Northern Ireland.”
The awards for the winter barley, oats, winter wheat and spring barley cereal competition categories will be officially presented at the 2023 UFU and sponsors cereals competition awards and lunch planned for later this year.