Grassland Farmer Of The Year
Grassland Farmer Of The Year
Sponsors and Judges
The British Grassland Society is indebted to Germinal, Nufarm and Yara for generously sponsoring this competition. Each sponsor organisation provides a judge for the competition to work alongside a head judge and the previous year’s competition winner.
Competition judges 2019 (L to R): Richard Rogers, Helen Mathieu, Brent Gibbon, Steve Brandon and Philip Cosgrave.
Meet the judges.
Hugh McClymont (Head Judge)
Hugh is Farms Manager for SRUC in South West Scotland and responsible for Crichton Royal Farm and Barony Farm in Dumfriesshire. The total land area is over 700 ha with grass, wholecrop, maize and fodder beet grown for the 600+ Holstein Friesian dairy cows, yielding an average of 10,500 kgs of milk annually. In addition, there are 450 dairy youngstock, 600 Scotch Mules, 100 Dorset ewes and a herd of 80 red deer. All the enterprises are utilised for research and education, as well as their commercial operation.
Hugh has been an active supporter of BGS through his local grassland society, South West Scotland Grassland Society as their past Chairperson and is currently on the committee.
Helen Mathieu (Germinal)
“Germinal are market leading forage and grass seed specialists producing high performance varieties for the agricultural and amenity sectors. Our product portfolio includes the internationally renowned Aber® High Sugar Grass (Aber HSG) range and a broad range of species including forage brassicas, clovers, chicory, plantain and maize. We have a research team embedded at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, and an on farm Research Station in Wiltshire. Germinal leads research into sustainable farming practices while our progressive plant science programme of trials and development work provides valuable industry data on innovative forage species and cropping systems. We are proud to sponsor the BGS Grassland Famer of the Year competition highlighting best practice in grassland management”. Helen Mathieu, Germinal GB Limited
To learn more about Germinal, please click here.
Brent Gibbon (Nufarm)
“The grassland team at Nufarm are delighted to sponsor the Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition. Nufarm is keen to help to identify exemplary grassland farmers whose management plan features a weed control strategy and who, in turn, would be able to help champion the benefits to all livestock producers and help them to make more milk and/or meat from quality grass, the cheapest form of feed”. Brent Gibbon, Nufarm
To learn more about Nufarm please click here.
Philip Cosgrave (Yara)
“Yara has long recognised that whether growing grass for grazing or looking to reduce feed costs through better silage management, choosing the right balance of nutrients applied at the right time plays a vital role in growing grass successfully – for both yield and quality.
This is why from a Research and Development Programme over many years we have developed a complete range of grassland fertilizers, management and timing advice to enable our farmer customers to balance the nutrient requirement of their grass. Quality fertilizers that provide the balance between what a farm has, and what the grass needs to deliver the yield and quality the livestock farmer wants – whether for dairy, beef or sheep – and whether for grazing or housed feeding.
We believe ‘if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it’ and soil and herbage analysis has a role to play in choosing the right fertilizer for the farm. This is clearly the ‘attention to detail’ philosophy held by members of the BGS and why we are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to be involved with the prestigious Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition”. Philip Cosgrove, Grassland Agronomist, Yara UK and Ireland.
To learn more about grassland at Yara please click here.
John Martin (2019 winner)
Sheep farmer John Martin of Greyabbey, Northern Ireland won the BGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition in 2019. John lambs 680 ewes split between two periods: mid-January to mid-February and mid-March to early April. Replacement lambs are homebred, with the emphasis on a smaller more prolific ewe to suit an intensive, rotationally grazed system. Finished lambs are sold off grass by the end of November and, with an overall stocking rate of 13 ewes/ha, the farm regularly produced 500 kg of lamb carcass per hectare. John has worked with the Agrifood and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland as a co-researcher to develop easier care sheep systems while also improving profitability.