Westend Landgoed has been crowned South Africa’s Santam Agriculture National Silage King for the third consecutive year. This was the sixth competition of its kind and once again delivered a record number of entries.

Lees dit in Afrikaans.

Westend Landgoed was crowned the overall winner as well as the winner in the maize silage category. The winning bunker was entered by Kemin Industries. Hurwitz Farming won in the feed sorghum category with a silo bag entered by Budissa Agroserve. De Draay reigned supreme in the oats silage category with a bunker entered by Meadow Feeds Paarl.

From left to right: Richardt Venter, competition coordinator, Bobby Lawrence of Kemin Industries, the company that entered the winning Westend Landgoed bunker, Hanlie Kroese from Santam Agriculture, the competition’s name sponsor, Heinrich Meyer of Strapping & Profile, one of the prize sponsors, Hano Lombard of Westend Landgoed, overall winner and winner in the maize category, Prof Robin Meeske, chairperson of the competition’s protocol committee, Lynette Louw, chief executive officer of Plaas Media, the owner of the competition, and Jaco Naudé of PANNAR Seed, another prize sponsor in the competition.

The category winners were announced during a mini conference held on 18 September during ALFA 2019 in Parys. The overall winner was crowned the same day at the ALFA gala dinner, during which Hano Lombard of Westend Landgoed received the certificate and prizes.

Sponsor and prize sponsors

Besides Santam Agriculture which once again acted as the name sponsor of the competition, finalists also received a number of prizes. PANNAR Seed gave seed vouchers to the value of more than R100 000 to the category and overall winners, while Strapping & Profile gave bunker covers as well as gift bags, and Nutribase gave inoculant hampers to the category winners.

This year a special merit award was given to Joubert Fourie’s Limpopo Dairy. This farming enterprise has been taking part in the competition every year since its inception and has ended among the top ten every year. They received a certificate and three feed troughs sponsored by ATK Voerbakke. A special award also went to Morgenzon Landbou-akademie as the only school to have participated in this year’s competition.

The number of entries received this year was the highest to date, with a total of 89 bunkers and/or silage bags from 72 farms entered in three categories – maize silage, feed sorghum silage and oats silage. Sampling was done by the University of the Free State and the laboratory analyses by Labworld. The results were checked and verified by Prof Robin Meeske of the Outeniqua Research Farm, who is also the chairperson of the competition’s protocol committee.

Complete list of finalists

Here are the finalists in order of performance:

Category: Maize
  1. Westend Landgoed, Werner le Roux, entered by Kemin Industries. Also overall winner.
  2. C Nel Boerdery, Corrie Nel, entered by AFGRI Animal Feeds.
  3. Limpopo Dairy, Joubert Fourie, entered by Strapping & Profile.
  4. JH Neethling Boerdery, Neels Neethling, entered by AFGRI Animal Feeds.
  5. Kameeldrift (Pty) Ltd, Bossie Pretorius, entered by Nutribase.
  6. Just Milk, Steve Moss, entered by Kemin Industries.
  7. Jacobsdal Dairy, James Sutherland, entered by Budissa Agroserve.
  8. MD Foundation, Stefan Pretorius, entered by PANNAR Seed.
  9. PD Hauff & Son (Rockfontein Farm), Matthew Beauclerk, entered by Meadow Feeds KZN.
  10. Simpson & Son, St John Simpson, entered by Meadow Feeds KZN.
Category: Oats
  1. De Draay, Awie Erasmus, entered by Meadow Feeds Paarl.
  2. Droëvlei Boerdery, Coenie Basson, entered by Leading Edge.
  3. Dasvlei, Johan Mostert, entered by Leading Edge.
  4. Duiker Boerdery, Gert van Dyk, entered by Barnlab.
  5. Kluitjieskraal, Arno Schoonwinkel, entered by Leading Edge.
Category: Feed sorghum
  1. Hurwitz Farming, Jarren Hurwitz, entered by Budissa Agroserve.
  2. Hurwitz Farming, Jarren Hurwitz, entered by Greenstar Contracting.
  3. JCM Farming, Cliff Milton, entered by TWK Agri.

Top quality entries

A record number of 21 companies and individuals entered bunkers or silo bags in this year’s competition. Entries were received from Kemin Industries, AFGRI Animal Feeds, Strapping & Profile, Nutribase, Budissa Agroserve, Meadow Feeds (KwaZulu-Natal and Paarl), Biomin, PANNAR Seed, Grasslands Agriculture, Leading Edge, Barnlab, Greenstar Contracting, TWK Agri, ANH, Santam Agriculture, Sparta Beef, SIS Farming Group, Limpopo Dairy, Spanboerdery, JH Neethling Boerdery and Manus Pretorius.

This year’s competition was especially tough and besides the record number of entries, the points awarded were higher than last year across the board. Westend Landgoed, for example, ended with a winning total of 89,90 which is 7,9 points higher than their winning total of 82 in 2018. The average points in the maize category this year was 76,23 as opposed to last year’s average of 67,8. In addition, there were several entries from previous participants who continue to support the competition year in and year out, and whose points totals also improved.

The increase in the points totals and the repeated participation of producers and their input suppliers, are testament to the fact that silage is serious business in the livestock industry. It also illustrates how hard producers are working at improving the quality of their fodder banks.

Read the December issue of Veeplaas for a special supplement focusing on this year’s data and results. This competition is one of the flagship projects in the Plaas Media stable. The competition is supported by the company’s media platforms, Veeplaas, Stockfarm, Grootplaas, RSG Landbou and www.agriorbit.com as well as its annual expo, ALFA (henceforth known as NAMPO ALFA). – Plaas Media press release.

For more information contact Lynette Louw at 084 580 5120 or email lynette@plaasmedia.co.za or Richardt Venter at 083 590 3014 or email richardt@agsci.co.za.