County Tyrone farmers win UFU oats competition

Friday, 9 August, 2019

The Ulster Farmers’ Union along with the oats competition sponsors Origin NI and BASF, is pleased to announce that Mark and Paul Russell from the North Tyrone UFU group, have been awarded first place in the 2019 UFU oats cereal competition. 

Joint second place this year was awarded to Tim McClelland, North East Armagh group, and Kyle McCrea, Ballyclare UFU group.

Commenting on winning this year’s competition Mark Russell said, “We were delighted to win the Ulster Farmers’ Union oats competition. The crop was drilled in ideal weather conditions and the weather to follow helped good growth. As always, we controlled disease and weeds as and when needed. Weather permitting the crop will be harvested within the next fortnight. We wish all our fellow farmers a good harvest!”

Speaking on behalf of the judges Ethel White, independent crop specialist said, “The judges were impressed by the crops from across five counties in the Ulster Farmers’ Union oats competition. The top crops were easily identified on the day.  It was clear that most of the crops had been well-managed and that growing conditions were challenging. There was evidence of mildew, crown rust and septoria in some crops. Some broad-leaved weeds were seen such as field pansy and cleavers. Several crops had small numbers of wild oats, along with meadow and sterile brome which were seen in a few crops and are of concern, needing vigilance on the part of growers. Most crops had high yield potential which was reflected in extensive patches of lodging in a few cases.  The winning crops had both high yield potential and excellent nutrient, disease and weed management.”

UFU deputy president David Brown said, “I would like to extend my congratulations to all finalists and thank all those who entered this year’s competition. 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 2019 UFU and sponsors cereals competition awards and lunch planned for later this year.


Photo caption: Pictured in the winning field is L-R: Mark and Paul Russell, UFU North Tyrone group and Rachel Buchanan, UFU group manager pictured with Mark’s sons Lee, Aaron and Ryan.