Trophies for the area’s top crops were presented to farmers last week when the Stoke Ferry Agricultural Society held its annual wheat competition.
The meeting, which was held at the Ryston Park Golf Club, near Downham, also included a debate on current issues facing farmers, such as how can West Norfolk farmers increase the value of their grain or tap into niche markets.
In the winter wheat competition there were 18 entries and taking first place was farmer Jim Smart who grew the winning sample of Cordiale with a specific weight of 78.4 hectare litres.
Second was Robert Smart with a sample of Cordiale with a specific weight of 77.2 hl and equal third were Mike Mann with a sample of Chiltern, with a specific weight of 76.8 hl, and Richard Bailey with a sample of J B Diego.
In the spring wheat competition there were two entries and Richard Bailey grew the winning sample of 5603HR with a specific weight of 76.4 hl and the runner-up was Tim Whittaker with a sample of 5603HR with a specific weight of 75.2 hl.
The trophies were presented to the winners by Andrew Mason from Sentry Ltd.
Following the presentation, the bi-annual Brains Trust took place.
The panel included auctioneer and valuer Barry Hawkins, from Downham, Cecilia Pryce, market analyst for Openfield and Andrew Mason, managing director of Sentry Ltd.
They were asked for their views on whether the ever increasing value of land was a good thing or a bad thing; their opinion on the “Dash for arable crops” for power/fuel generation; and whether it was the right time to appoint a minister of agriculture again.
All 36 members present showed their appreciation at the end of the meeting.
Member Mr John Hoyles, from Newton, was congratulated by the society for the MBE he was awarded in the New Year’s Honours List for services to agriculture and to the community.
At the next meeting on Tuesday, February 4, at Ryston Park Golf Club, there will be a talk about innovation for agriculture by David Gardner from the Royal Agricultural Society of England. New members are welcome.