The Santam Agriculture National Silage Competition is looking for its sixth silage king this year. The competition aims to contribute towards the promotion of good silage practices.

The competition is presented in a scientific manner and is based on an internationally accepted and published protocol. The protocol followed builds on the existing protocol and is managed by Plaas Media under the chairmanship of South African silage expert, Dr Robin Meeske of the Outeniqua Research Station, with the assistance of Richardt Venter. The protocol ensures that the winner excells holistically in silage making.

The competition is commercially orientated and relevant to all farmers and sector role-players. Participants from across the spectrum are welcomed and accommodated in this inclusive event.

Plaas Media presents the Santam Agriculture National Silage Competition and promotes the competition through its magazines, Veeplaas and Stockfarm, its television programme, Grootplaas, its radio programme, RSG Landbou and its website www.agriorbit.com and social media pages. The competition is once again supported by Santam Agriculture as headline sponsor. The prize sponsors are  Pannar Seed and Strapping and Profile Manufacturers, as agent van Rani-produkte.

Sampling and testing

The University of the Free State has been contracted to conduct all sampling and testing. Students from the university will conduct sampling. Post-graduate animal science students are trained to take samples at participating bunkers and to run a first-round evaluation at the premises where the silage is located.

This process is performed strictly according to protocol.

  • The samples are taken, handled, transported and stored according to the protocol. They are transported to a central laboratory for a basic analysis, which links to, and is used in, the final calculations after the farm visit.
  • Samples are then sent to an independent laboratory for specific analyses. These results serve as the second-round evaluation.
  • Sample results are returned to the protocol committee and finalists are named, based on the protocol and the analysis results as well as evaluation during the sampling.
  • The judging committee reserves the right to visit the participating farms should the need arise or be identified.

Categories

The competition is presented in two categories:

Winter grain silage

Small grains.

Summer grain silage

Maize silage.

Feed sorghum silage.

Each category will be judged on merit and a winner will be announced in each category. The organisers reserve the right to cancel any category if there are fewer than five entries per category, or to cancel entries that exceed the sampling capacity of the competition. This year there will be no open category, but entrants who wish to enter in a category not listed here, can contact us by email at michelle@plaasmedia.co.za

Entries

There are four categories for entries:

  • Category A:
    Individual (private) entries; Farmers can enter themselves, in which case a mimimum number of entries does not apply.
  • Category B: A company entry of less than five (5) clients (1-4 clients).
  • Category C: A company entry of five (5) clients.
  • Category D: A company entry of six (6) to a maximum of 10 clients.

Who can enter their clients?

  • Seed companies supplying silage cultivars.
  • Machinery companies that manufacture/market silage equipment.
  • Companies supplying plastic silage covers.
  • Companies supplying bacterial inoculants or preservatives.
  • Silage contractors.
  • Feed companies and consultants involved in optimal silage utilisation in rations.
  • Any other silage role-player who wants to make a contribution to the silage industry.
  • The company involved must screen entries to ensure that it enters a worthy participant. Companies may also use the winners of their own internal competitions to nominate entries.
  • Entries are limited to 10 entries per company.

Every bunker must be entered on its own as a single entry. If farmers wish to enter more than one bunker, each bunker must be registered as a separate entry. Due to logistical challenges, bunkers and crops from one farm can only be entered by one company and not by two or more companies. However, a different company may enter silage bags and other crops from the same farm, if another company has not entered silage bags or other crops yet.

Closing dates

Entries for the winter/small grains category close on 4 March 2019. Entries for the summer grains close on 6 May 2019.

The category winners and overall winner are selected based on combined points covering all three rounds. Winners will be announced at ALFA 2019 between 17 September and 19 September at the Parys Afridome. The prize giving will coincide with ALFA events dedicated to silage-making.

For entry forms or any enquiries contact Michelle Verster at 083 375 4641 or michelle@plaasmedia.co.za. – Press release