Despite prolonged dry weather in the spring making it another challenging growing year for Petworth farmers, judges in the annual on-farm competitions have praised them for the quality of their crops.
Judging of the 2011 Petworth and District Agricultural Association’s (PDAA) annual on-farm competitions took place over the summer and was carried out by representatives from the Cranleigh Agricultural Association who judged the classes after visiting all the entrants’ farms.
Announcing the winners, they said once again careful management by farmers had made the most of the growing conditions and produced some excellent crops.
Peter Knight, judge of the cereal crop classes, commented on ‘the great range of soil types within the area which this year has shown what a difference that makes to crop performance’.
The overall winners of the best farm competitions were Keith and Andrew Gadd of Ridlington Farm, Duncton for the best farm of 500 acres or less and Richard Green of Mitchell Park Farm, Northchapel for the best farm over 500 acres.
Richard was also awarded the Challenge Cup for the best overall farm for the second year running.
The prize for the best commercial dairy herd in the association was awarded to James Renwick from Buddington Farm, Easebourne amid strong competition.
Judge Andy Marshall declared James just pipped everyone else, but had to award three equal second places because they were so difficult to separate. He also congratulated Mr Renwick’s herdsman, Ian Fermour, for having ‘taken the herd to a new level’.
This year there have been 11 growing crop competitions producing nine separate winners right across the area of the association.
Simon Carter from Headsfold Wood Farm, Loxwood was one of only two entrants to receive more than one first prize for his crops of spring beans and winter barley. Simon also received a third place for his crop of winter oats.
Richard Green followed his success in the best farm competition with two first prizes for best crops of hard wheat and winter beans as well as second place for his crop of winter oats. It was Mr Green’s crop of Gallant hard wheat that was judged to be the best of all 56 entries over the 22 farms and he was awarded the Boxall Cup.
Association chairman, Edward Tupper from Littleton Farm, Upwaltham was awarded first prize for the best environmental conservation project.
He was commended for his ‘diversity of projects of great consequential benefit to a broad spectrum of threatened flora and fauna’ by judge Edward Hall.
Prizes will be awarded at the PDAA’s annual autumn ploughing match on Saturday, September 24 at Southdean Farm, Tillington by permission of Lord Egremont and Langmead Farms Ltd. The association is looking forward to a repeat of last year’s event with more than 60 vintage, conventional and reversible ploughmen.
Best commercial dairy herds: 1 J Renwick. Buddington Farm, Easebourne; equal 2 J Hancock, Hurlands Farm, Selham, JM Lywood, Battlehurst Farm, Kirdford and P Crawley, Crouch Farm, Barlavington. Best crop of hard wheat: 1 R Green, Mitchell Park Farm, Northchapel; 2 G Chandler and Son, Moor Farm, Petworth; 3 N Moss, River Park Farm, Lodsworth. Best crop of soft wheat: 1 J Hancock, Hurlands Farm, Selham; 2 C A Stickland, Burchetts Farm, Wisborough Green; 3 TR Tupper (Bignor Farms), Bignor.
Best crop of spring wheat: 1 R A Dallyn and Sons, Lee Farm, Fittleworth; 2 R Perry, Netherlands Farm, Petworth. Best crop of spring barley: 1 JM Lywood, Battlehurst Farm, Kirdford; 2 TR Tupper (Bignor Farms), Bignor; 3 R Comber, Manor Farm, Heyshott.
Best crop of winter oats: 1 Malham Farms, Wisborough Green; 2 R Green, Mitchell Park Farm, Northchapel; 3 S Carter, Headsfold Wood Farm, Loxwood. Best crop of winter barley: 1 S Carter, Headsfold Wood Farm, Loxwood; 2 P Vellacott, Wanzey Valley Farm, Northchapel.
Best crop of winter sown oilseed rape: 1 N Moss, River Park Farm, Lodsworth; 2 M Stickland, Hookhurst Farm, Loxwood; 3 Malham Farms, Wisborough Green. Best crop of winter beans: 1 R Green, Mitchell Park Farm, Northchapel; 2 G Chandler and Son, Moor Farm, Petworth; 3 N Moss, River Park Farm, Lodsworth. Best crop of winter beans: 1 S Carter, Headsfold Wood Farm, Loxwood. Best crop of rye or triticale: 1 P Crawley, Crouch Farm, Barlavington. Best crop organic crop. 1 P Chandler, Redlands Farm, Lodsworth; 2 R A Dallyn and Sons, Keyzaston Farm, Sutton; 3 P Crawley, Crouch Farm, Barlavington
Boxall Cup for his Gallant milling wheat: Richard Green.
Best environmental conservation project: 1 DH Tupper Farms, Littleton Farm, Upwaltham; 2 G Chandler and Son, Moor Farm, Petworth; equal 3 R A Dallyn and Sons, Keyzaston Farm, Sutton and P Crawley, Crouch Farm, Barlavington.
Best farm of 500 acres or less: 1 KL Gadd, Ridlington Farm, Duncton; 2 JC Hancock, Hurlands Farm, Selham; 3 CA Stickland, Burchetts Farm, Wisborough Green.
Best farm of over 500 acres: 1 R Green, Mitchell Park Farm, Northchapel; 2 G Chandler and Son, Moor Farm, Petworth; 3 TR Tupper (Bignor Farms), Bignor.
Best-kept cottage garden competition: 1 Mr and Mrs G Reed, 1 Rose Cottage; 2 Mr and Mrs A Harris, 2 Rose Cottage; 3 C Vincent, 2 Strood Cottages; 4 B Dallyn, Strood Farm Cottages; 5 L Dallyn, 384 Strood Cottages.