Ploughing Match

Ploughing Match Prizes 2009

Farm Classes

The King George VI Cup

1st Emmett Bros
2nd Randall Farms

Good Crops – some suffering from thirst, but still very good considering the difficult weather and agronomy conditions. Well run businesses with costs closely monitored. Some well placed environmental measures, used efficiently and effectively without compromising output. Slight weakness on both farms with future planning.

Class 1 – The Maidenhead Advertiser Challenge Cup – Over 1000 acres

1st Emmett Bros
2nd Copas Farms
Joint 3rd Rayner and Royal Farms

As you can see by the scoring all the farms and businesses are run pretty tightly.

Class 2 – The Lord Astor Challenge Cup – Under 1000 acres

1st Randall Farms Very well structured farm business. Excellent crops.
2nd S & J Whitby A diverse family partnership, well structured with good diversification.
3rd Rinder Ltd Excellent use of limited resources.

The Duke Of Edinburgh 150th Anniversary Award For Nature Conservation

1st Syngenta Farm The enthusiasm with which conservation was undertaken, the communication to others and the attention to detail.
2nd Copas Farms The improvement of the whole landscape and the communication with the general public is excellent and is something that is not often seen.
3rd Randall Farms Good use of use of field corners and difficult areas combined with good establishment of environmental crops has created a patchwork that will be beneficial to wildlife.


Class 9 – Winter Wheat – S W Philp Challenge Bowl

1st Randall Farms An outstanding field of wheat with a tremendous yield potential. The establishment and resulting plant population, fungicide policy and fertiliser strategy were very controlled and financially prudent. The planned end marketing for the crop was also clearly defined and targeted. All this considered, the field had the potential to deliver an extremely high gross margin.
2nd Emmett Bros A very solid crop of Alchemy that had the potential to deliver a sizable yield. The seed rate chosen for the time of year and cultivations policy had worked extremely well to deliver a crop with extremely even plant count from the field edge in.
3rd Royal Windsor Farms A very well tailored fungicide regime given the drought conditions during the growing season let to high yield potential being delivered from a reduced cost.

All entrants are to be congratulated for taking the time and effort to put crops forward for judging. The standards of wheat growing were very high and many of the entrants showed attention to the important issues underlying successful wheat growing. The drought has certainly taken its toll on some of the lighter soil types but this has been well managed by the entrants who all set realistic yield targets.

Winter Barley

1st Randall Farms This crop is the most even across the whole field, with optimum plant population and tillering. It was virtually disease free and the only negative point being a mistake at drilling with alternate passes of Flagon & Cassata. This varietal error does not detract from the crop yield potential.
2nd Rinder Ltd Crop uneven due to extensive organic manure application and some compaction down one headland affected its overall potential. However, the crop should be commended as it has good yield potential for a light land site with little inorganic fertiliser applied (1.5cwt/acre).
3rd Rayner Farms Crop suffered from reclaimed gravel site and was therefore uneven despite good plant count and tillering. This caused patches of premature ripening which will impact on final yield. Weed and disease control were good but did not compensate for the soil structure problems.

Class 11 – Winter Oil Seed Rape – E T Biggs Challenge Cup

1st Syngenta This crop showed even establishment, sensible use of organic N, excellent weed & disease control and a high pods/plant count. Although there was local lodging probably due to uneven organic N distribution in the soil, there is clearly a very high yield potential despite any lodging that may occur.
2nd Randall Farms This field has an even plant with good pods/plant count and excellent pest & disease control. Excalibur hybrid was a good choice of variety on a slightly more challenging site than 3rd placed Copas Farms, with potential yield effects from pests in the surrounding fields/woods not in evidence.
3rd Copas Farms Another very good and even plant, very similar to the crop at Randall Farms in terms of quality and yield potential. The soil conditions and site were probably an advantage over the competing crop at Randall Farms, and for this reason I feel it should be placed 3rd in this competition. Disease and weed control were extremely good, as were most other entries.

Class 13 – Spring Barley – The NFU Cup

1st Hurleyford Farms A very clean crop in terms of disease, as many were, with a good dark green right the way down to leaf 4. An even crop canopy and in my opinion the ideal in terms of plant population and ear numbers. No grass weeds seen and very few BLW. My only concern was the risk of lodging on clearly a fertile site after FYM but overall the best crop I judged with the best yield potential and clearly fulfilling the growers requirement in providing the maximum feed and straw for his livestock.
2nd Copas Farms Equal to the first placed crop in terms of disease and dark green right the way down the plant. A small amount of blackgrass seen but in no way yield penalising. What marked the crop down was that it was slightly too thin and had a slightly more uneven crop canopy. By far the most comprehensive field records seen but unfortunately did reveal a high spend on herbicides. Overall a good commercial crop grown on a large arable enterprise.
3rd Royal Farms Again on the whole a disease free crop. Some grass weeds present; blackgrass and annual meadow grass seen but low numbers. A short and stiff crop but slightly patchy in appearance, possibly lack of moisture, possibly from the application of FYM. What impressed the most was the low chemical costs involved in producing the crop making it stand out from the remaining entrants. (Also a very impressive crop of organic barley as well)

Class 14 – Oats – Knight Frank & Rutley Challenge Cup

1st Hurleyford Farms A short and stiff crop of spring oats with very little chance of lodging. Clean in terms of disease and no weeds seen at all. Slightly varying in crop height but the most consistent field in terms of evenness of colour across the whole field with no signs of any parts suffering from drought.
2nd Shottesbrook Farms A very good even crop of winter oats. Tall but reasonably stiff and very clean in terms of disease. Just a few grass weeds spotted from a distance but nothing yield penalising. What stopped this crop coming first was the amount of barley volunteers present, probably due to min-till establishment. The grower had identified a specialist market for this crop but I felt that the amount of barley present could cause problems in the sample.
3rd Emmett Bros A thick, stiff strawed crop with a good PGR program but still a bit too tall in places. Not as clean as the 1st and 2nd placed crop but on the whole good. A few wild oats seen. What marked this crop down was the unevenness of the crop; a large variation in height and unfortunately droughting in places making the crop patchy in appearance.

Class 15 – Best Break Crop Other than Winter Oil Seed Rape – Patullo Higgs Challenge Cup

1st Emmett Brothers Spring Peas A fantastically even crop, excellent plant population. No indication of any disease or weeds within the crop. Many well formed, full pods all through the crop profile. The potential is there for an excellent yield and overall the crop looked the best of those seen yesterday. A fantastic example of growing peas, knowing how difficult they can be.
2nd David Philip & Partners Spring Oil Seed Rape Following a ‘disastrous’ winter crop the block inspected was again fantastically even in plant population and crop height. All was at the same stage of growth with no ‘backward’ patches seen. Crop was clean from disease and weeds and had podded very well throughout the crop profile. Good example of spring OSR.
3rd equal Shottesbrook Farms Spring Oats A fine example of a clean oat crop with hardly a wild oat seen. Very clean and free from weed and an even height throughout the crop. Well formed good sized ears, short in crop height that would suggest the crop will have no problem in standing.
3rd equal Rayner Farms Spring Oil Seed Rape Again another fine example of an even crop, taller than the other OSR crop and with a few more visible ‘undesirables’ than the 2nd placed. Good sized well formed pods, clean with a good number of seeds per pod.


Best Beef Bull

1st Rachel Archer
2nd Donald Dawes
3rd Portman Burtley

Best Suckler Herd

1st Portman Burtley
2nd Royal Farms
3rd Donald Dawes

Best Commercial Beef

1st Giles Philp
2nd Rinders
3rd Malcolm Burfit

Commercial Sheep

1st Michael Craig
2nd Giles Philp
3rd Malcolm Burfit

Beef Stockman Prize

Giles Philp



1st Thelma Copas Hedsor Towers
2nd Joint Cynthia Philp Church Farm
2nd Joint Helen Emmett Foxley Farm
3rd Linda Hicks Weybrookes Cottage, Medmenham


1st Margaret Ewers 10 Lindores Rd, Holyport
2nd Roy Redman Shottesbrooke Park
3rd Joint Steve Hullatt Hornbuckle Farm
3rd Joint Mrs Gordon Harris Primrose Cottage, Cookham Dean

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