The competition, now in its second year, sees leading beef and dairy farmers from Ireland and the UK compete to achieve the highest energy yield from grass.

The Yara Grass Prix winner is the entrant with the highest metabolisable energy yield (ME per ha) averaged over the first two silage cuts.

David Murphy from County Armagh, Northern Ireland, forged ahead at the first cut stage with an energy content of 100,453MJ/ha worth €1,450/ha. With a further 102,697MJ/ha to add from his second cut, David won with a total of 203,150MJ/ha equaling a grass value of €3,193/ha.

"Grass is everything," said David, who works alongside his father Ian, "and ME is most important. Making up the difference for poor quality grass could mean feeding an extra 3kg of meal per cow per day, which over the whole herd would add up to an extra €8,820 per month in feed costs."

David's herd of 300 cows are housed all year round and fed using a zero grazing system buffer fed with high quality silage.

Irish farmers also took third and fourth place in the competition, with Alan and David Wallace, dairy farmers from County Antrim, coming third, and Danny and Patrick Cremin, dairy farmers from County Limerick, coming fourth.

Yara’s Ireland Business Manager, Nicholas Morrison said winning was a matter of determination. “For 2015 we had six Ireland entrants, and we were determined to claim the winning title for Ireland this year,” she said. “We have one of the best climates for grass growth so, with the added attention to detail, it is fantastic that we are able to celebrate three competitors from the island of Ireland in the top four.”