The finalists in the annual Santam Agriculture National Silage Competition have just been announced. This competition which is already a fixture on the agricultural calendar, is being presented for the fifth time this year. It is a project of Plaas Media and is supported by the company’s media platforms, Veeplaas, Stockfarm, Grootplaas, RSG Landbou and www.agriorbit.com.
This year a total of 73 bunkers and/or silage bags were entered in three categories – maize silage, feed sorghum silage and oats silage. The University of the Free State handled the sampling and data collection process. Two master’s degree students from the university, Evan Macdonald and Kobie van der Walt, collected samples during two trips, with small-grains silage samples collected first and the maize silage samples later.
Farms from across the country participated and a total of 65 farms were visited – stretching from Darling in the south to Louis Trichardt in the north. NTT Toyota Barberton supported the students by supplying a vehicle with which they were able to complete the 12 800km covered during the two trips.
The list of finalists in this year’s competition contains a few well-known names. The finalists, in no particular order, are:
- Dasvlei, Johan Mostert, Philadelphia – oats.
- De Goedehoop, Dr Paul Theron, Davel – maize.
- Droëvlei, Coenie Basson, Darling – oats.
- Elandsfontein, Leon Meyer, Fochville – maize.
- LAT Feedlot, Louis Tractchler, Winterton – maize.
- Green Star Contractors, Jarren Hurwitz, Davel – feed sorghum.
- Agri Merensky in conjunction with Limpopo Dairy, Louis Trichardt – feed sorghum.
- Morgenzon Landbou-akademie, WJ Smith, Morgenzon – maize.
- Limpopo Dairies, Joubert Fourie, Louis Trichardt – maize (two entries among the finalists).
- Bag Afrika, Gordon Brown, Vryburg – maize.
- Riverlee, Peter Griffin, Mooi River – maize.
- Rusticana Dairy, Daan Malan, Bethal – maize.
- Sparta Beef Taaiboschbult, Sello Ntjoboko, Marquard – maize.
- Welgemoed, Toit van der Watt, Tweeling – maize.
- West End Landgoed, James Sutherland, Morgenzon – maize.
One noteworthy achievement on this year’s list of finalists, is that of Joubert Fourie’s Limpopo Dairies. This participant has been entering the competition every year since the project’s inception, ending among the finalists every single year, with placements varying from third to ninth. There are various other entrants who have also participated in the competition from the start. This is testament to the seriousness with which participants regard the quality of silage.
Announcement of winners
The winners in this year’s competition will be announced during ALFA 2018 at the Afridome in Parys. A silage conference will be held on 20 September at ALFA, during which the data generated by the competition will be discussed and the various category winners announced. This will be followed by the ALFA gala dinner that same evening, during which the overall winner will be announced by the name sponsor, Santam Agriculture.