David O’Gorman has been announced as the overall winner of the Dairygold Malting Barley Award for 2020.
From outside Castletownroche in Co Cork, he has produced consistently high-quality malting barley and his 2020 malting barley crop averaged 3.2t/ac.
David farms alongside his DGAS Agricultural Services business.
Soil health is a top priority for David. His rotation consists of spring barley, beans, winter barley and winter wheat.
He soil-samples regularly and tailors a nutrient management plan for the farm.
The nutrient management plan is part of a good record-keeping strategy. David uses Gatekeeper to record his pesticide usage.
David’s farm is located in the Blackwater Valley and pays particular attention to all watercourses. He carefully manages hedgerows and riverbanks to protect the environment and wildlife.
Speaking about the competition, Dairygold’s tillage and beef business manager Liam Leahy said it is a great opportunity to showcase the standard of grain produced by the co-op’s growers.
“The diversity of the contestants was impressive, varying from large specialist tillage farmers to relatively small mixed livestock tillage farms.
His planning, technical and machinery expertise, as well as record keeping, is very impressive
“All were committed to excellence. The traceability and authenticity of Dairygold’s malting barley augers well for the future sustainability of the product,” he said.
Head of commercial at Dairygold Séamus O’Mahony stated: “David’s attention to detail is obvious and commendable. His planning, technical and machinery expertise, as well as record keeping, is very impressive. His wealth of experience and knowledge of tillage and malting industries has stood by him in this year’s competition.”
“He has embraced environmental schemes and has developed an impressive knowledge of what the soil has to offer when cared and nourished for in a way that brings the best out from it,” according to Séamus.
He added: “This carefully balanced care of the environment confirms in our view that he is the overall winner of the 2020 Dairygold malting barley competition - he excelled in all scores.”
Dairygold Co-op chair John O'Gorman congratulated and thanked all four finalists on their efforts: “It is very important that all tillage growers get the opportunity to showcase their sustainability credentials, the standards they achieve in husbandry and the contribution that they make to our business.
“As a company, tillage growers are a very important part of Dairygold’s business, and we remain committed to supporting and developing this part of our business into the future.”
There were three remaining regional finalists announced in the awards: