FARMING

Tipperary grower wins top award for quality of his grain

GREAT WIN FOR FETHARD'S NIALL O'CONNELL

Tipperary grower wins top award for quality of his grain

Green Feed Oats winner Niall O’Connell from Grangebarry, Fethard, with Aoife Murphy, Glanbia Ireland Director of Ingredients; Agronomist David Quinlan and Pat Murphy, Glanbia Vice Chairman

Tipperary grain grower Niall O’Connell has been honoured with the Best Quality Feed Oats accolade at the Glanbia Ireland Grain Awards for 2019.

The overall winners were Ross and Alison Hendy, from Clonbullogue, outside Tullamore, Co Offaly who took the Glanbia Ireland Grain Grower of the Year Award at the event held in Kilkenny on Thursday, 20 February, 2020.

Glanbia Chairman Martin Keane congratulated the ten suppliers whose excellence and attention to detail were recognised at the ceremony. 

“Grain farmers have had to contend with difficult weather conditions in recent years, and 2019 was no different. Yet, despite this, our award winners have continued to set high standards for others to follow.

“It is clear that the production of high-quality grains continues to be of paramount importance to our growers.”

Niall O’Connell, who farms at Grangebarry, outside of Fethard, supplies Cassia winter barley on contract to Glanbia and the majority of his Winter Oats are also grown on contract for use in GAIN Equine Nutrition Feeds. 

The system followed on farm is a conventional plough-based system which ensures good crop establishment, especially in an area of predominantly heavy soil types.

 In addition, Niall O’Connell runs a substantial contracting business which works in tandem with his tillage operation.

Dedication and teamwork have been key to both enterprises. 

The winning crop, which was the variety Husky, averaged a specific weight of 57kph at 16.5% moisture across 194 tonnes.

Glanbia Ireland’s Director of Ingredients Aoife Murphy told the growers  that the company has made significant investments in facilities and the marketing of native Irish grains in recent years.

“We are continuously looking at new opportunities to add value to grain and increase the premiums paid to growers for specific grains. The state-of-the-art food grade facility in Portlaoise has played a key role in producing a high quality and traceable product that offers a strong premium.

“Looking to the future our new €15m R&D centre in Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny will increase our capabilities, utilise synergies across the business and allow us to bring new products to the marketplace.”