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Castletownroche tillage farmer David O’Gorman has been announced the overall winner of this year’s Dairygold Malting Barley competition for 2020. This event was showcased on the Dairygold Agri Website over the last week as Dairygold’s popular Spring Tillage Conference had to be rearranged due to the present lockdown requirements.
David, who farms just outside Castletownroche, consistently produces excellent quality grain while prioritising the environment by protecting all waterways and biodiversity while he farms his lands on the banks of the Blackwater river in Castletownroche. He is an advocator of good crop rotation, which includes protein beans in his case, all of which has earned him this prestigious title.
“David’s attention to detail is obvious and commendable. His planning, technical and machinery expertise as well as record keeping is very impressive. His wealth of experience and knowledge of tillage and malting industries has stood by him in this year’s competition,” explained Dairygold’s Head of Commercial Seamus O’Mahony.
“He has embraced environmental schemes and has developed an impressive knowledge of what the soil has to offer when cared and nourished for in a way that brings the best out from it and rewarded and replenished accordingly,” according to Seamus.
“Located in the picturesque Blackwater valley, special attention is given to all watercourses and careful management of hedge rows and riverbanks, all with view to protecting our environment and wildlife. This carefully balanced care of the environment confirms in our view that he is the overall winner of the 2020 Dairygold Malting Barley Competition – he excelled in all scores,” he said.
Dairygold Co Op Chairman, John O Gorman, congratulated David on his achievement and thanked all four finalists on efforts made throughout the year. : It is very important that all tillage growers get the opportunity to showcase their sustainability credentials, the standards they achieve in husbandry and the contribution that they make to our business. As a company, tillage growers are a very important part of Dairygold’s business, and we remain committed to supporting and developing this part of our business into the future.”
David farms 150ac in Castletownroche in north Cork alongside his DGAS Agricultural Services business. Last year the Bridgetown farm grew 35ac of Malting Barley, 14ac of beans, 42ac spring feed barley, 43ac winter barley and 16ac of winter wheat. The beans are usually followed with winter wheat, then Winter barley and back to spring malting in year three as he can manage the protein element of the crop with more certainty at that stage.
The Dairygold grower achieved 3.2t/ac of high-quality Malting Barley on average in last year’s harvest and attributes a lot of his success to focusing on soil fertility down through the years. Soil samples are taken regularly, and a crop nutrient plan is formed based on these results with advice from Margaret O’Callaghan in Fermoy and Area Sales Manager Michael English, ensuring optimum soil health for best results.
Speaking about the competition Dairygold Tillage and Beef Business Manager Liam Leahy said it is a great opportunity to showcase the standard of grain produced by the co-operative’s growers.
“The diversity of the contestants was impressive varying from large specialist tillage farmers to relatively small mixed livestock tillage farms. All were committed to excellence. The traceability and authenticity of Dairygold’s Malting Barley augers well for the future sustainability of the product,” he said.