The North East has a significant proportion of Scotland’s arable cropping land. The Society encourages good crop husbandry through two annual competitions, one for growing cereals and one for growing turnips and swedes. Valuable confidential feedback about the opinion of the judges and the scoring of each crop is given to all entries so that they may compare their crops with all the others entered and further improve their own techniques. The projects have attracted wide support and healthy rivalry for the trophies and prize money. Special awards are given for young farmers and for crops in Less Favoured Areas.
The 2020 champion title went to Niall Mustard’s 7.5-acre block of Lomond turnips grown at Cloves, Alves, near Forres.
Taking first prize in both the Non-Less Favoured Areas (LFA) and feeding sections, the crop was sown into a flat bed on May 12 and achieved a yield of 70.34 tonnes per acre.
Reserve overall went to a 13-acre block of Lomond turnips from Gregor Sievwright of CT Sievwright and Sons, Hillend, Fordyce, Banff.
The competition was kindly sponsored by Sandy Duguid, of Murray Duguid Seed Merchants, Oldmeldrum.
The 2020 competition was won by the Murphy family at Mains of Kinmundy, Longside, Peterhead, with a 25-acre crop of Kingston winter barley.
Reserve overall was awarded to 2019 competition winners, the Middleton family at Balbegno, Fettercairn, with a crop of Laureate spring barley for malting.
The judging was kindly carried out by Scott Campbell of Kirkton Farm, Kinellar.
Pictured above: Agronomist Steven Penrice, Andrew Murphy and David Murphy.
The 2020 Champion title went to a 6-acre block of Bangor fodder beet from Jonny Stewart of Nether Balfour Farms, Rashenlochy, Drumoak.
Producing a yield of 56.74 tonnes per acre, the winning crop was precision drilled on April 28 into a field which had previously been in grass for five years and had 20 tonnes of muck per acre applied prior to being sown.
The reserve overall prize went to a crop of Munro from Robert Anderson, Corskellie, Rothiemay, which produced a yield of 50.60 tonnes per acre.
The 2019 competition was won by I J Blackhall, Milton of Durris, Banchory. The winning crop of Lomond variety was sown at Balbridie Farm into a stale seed bed with 18in spacings.
The Blackhall family also took Reserve Champion with another crop of Lomond.
Pictured above: Rodney Blackhall and his nephew Euan Blackhall.
The 2019 competition was won by the Middleton family at Balbegno Farm, near Fettercairn with a crop of Laureate spring malting barley.
Second place went to Alan Grant, Skillymarno, Strichen, with a crop of Propino spring barley for feed.
The judging was kindly carried out by Robert Drysdale from Monymusk Estate.
Champion of the 2019 competition went to Stewart Davidson, who farms with his grandfather Leslie and father Les at West Cortiecram, Mintlaw.
The winning crop was a 7.5-acre block of Bangor variety.
The reserve overall prize went to a crop of Blaze from the Ingram family, Logie Durno Farm, Pitcaple.