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PembrokeshireFarmer


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Trio are creamof thecrop


Inaugural winners of farm enterprise contest revealed


of Farming Connect’s fiercely contested Farmer Enterprise Competition –but it wasn’t just about winning as all six teams saytheir knowledge of crop and lamb production has increased significantly. During an awards ceremonyat


A


the RoyalWelsh Winter Fair,Wales’ Minister forNatural Resources and Food, AlunDavies,revealed thatthe competition had been wonbyDyfan Jones,RhysLewis and Dyfrig Williams,who all live in Ceredigion. They were eachpresented with an


electronic tablet during the ceremo- ny in the Lantra building. Although there could onlybeone winner,all six teams have gained farming knowledge by taking part in the competition. It wasthe first year thatthe


Farmer Enterprise Competition had taken place.Eachteam wasallocat- ed 50 lambs of the same breed and twoacres of land at Fronlas Farm, ColegPowys,Newtown, with an


TEAM of three young Ceredigion farmers has been named as the winner


By Debbie James


additional 0.5 acres of runback. The aim wastofinish these lambs through grazing aforage crop of eachteam’s choice. The competition wasjudged on a


number of criteria including the cost of production and lamb selec- tion. The winning team had scored the highest forcroputilisation and their planning and management. According to the external compe-


tition judges,grassland specialist, Charlie Morgan, and sheepexpert, Catherine Nakielny, the teams had all exhibited attention to detail and sound decisions. And they had in the process


gained abetter understanding of crop production and lamb finishing thatwould help them to improve their ownfarming businesses. They had learned thatfinishing


lambs offcatch crops could be prof- itableand thatnutrient planning and providing the right type and vol- ume of fertilisers has areal bearing on returns.


CONGRATULATING WINNERS: Wales’ Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies, with the


winning team, the competition judges and representatives of Coleg Powys, Dunbia and Sainsbury’s. PICTURE: Debbie James.


“Efficient utilisation of the crop is paramount to achieving areturn on investmentand this is whathad set the winning team apart from the others,” saidMrMorgan. The plot achieved top marks for


crop utilisation with no crop wastage. “This team showed awell bal-


anced approachand managed the process well,”MrMorgan added.


Putting aparasite man-


agement plan in placewas also foundtodramatically improveperformance and reduce lamb finishing times,asworm infections are often hidden. Ms Nakielnypointed


out thatreductions in per- formance can occur before anyclinical signs are seen. Lambperformance,she


Ruralpolicing is top priority


RURALpolicing is the top pri- ority forthe man who runs the UK’s largest rural police force.


Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner


Christopher


Salmon, spoke to farmers in Car- marthenshire,outlining details of his responsibilities suchas setting priorities forpolicing and controlling the force’s budget. He also told members of the Farmers’ Union ofWales thathis top priority is to develop arural policing forceand take on more special constables. FUW Carmarthenshire coun-


ty chairman Catherine Nakielny said: “Mr Salmon gave us areal- ly interesting insight into the challenges facing the forceand whatchanges this newoffice has put in place in recent months. “The rural nature of our local-


ity seems to provide challenges and opportunities and one of the messages whichcame out was thataswell as relying on the


CUPPA WITH THE COMMISSIONER: FUW county vice-chairman Brian Richards, Christopher Salmon, Catherine Nakielny and county president Ian Rickman.


police forcewealso need to work together to help prevent rural crime. “A good example given was


theOWLmessaging service.This service informs local residents including farmers of anyissue


having occurred in the area.” To sign up foreither the email


or text message service,FUW members can contact the Car- marthenshire county office on 01267 237 974.


RURALPRACTICE


ruralpractice@jcpsolicitors.co.uk www.jcp-rural-practice.co.uk


JCP Solicitors is the trading name of John Collins and Partners LLP. Recently merged with VJGJohns and BissmireFudge.


We understand therealissues facing theWelsh rural economy.


Which is whywe’re the Land &Agricultural LawSpecialists.Call our specialist Rural team on 01437 764723 or email ruralpractice@jcpsolicitors.co.uk


added, can be monitored in anum- ber of ways,but using EID and appropriate hardware to monitor growth rates in ‘real-time’ means thatmanagement changes can be implemented


immediatelyto


improveperformance. The competition proved that


there is no ‘right orwrong’ system of lamb production.


“Comparisons are often made of


‘lowinput-lowoutput’ versus ‘high input-highoutput’systems,but it is interestingtonote thatthe winning team wasactuallya‘medium input- medium output’ system,” said Ms Nakielny. All competition lambs were mar-


keted through Dunbia in Llanybyd- der and sold to Sainsbury’s.


News December 2013 5


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