12 Irish cereal growers honoured in Grain Supplier Awards

Glanbia said green grain intake increased to over 190,000 tonnes last year
12 Irish cereal growers honoured in Grain Supplier Awards

Grain grower Diarmuid MacAmhlaiobh, from Castlelyons, Co Cork won the Green Feed Barley award at the Glanbia Ireland Quality Grains Awards for 2021. The grower was amongst 12 suppliers honoured for their dedication and attention to detail in grain production as part of the annual awards programme. Picture: Donal O’ Leary

Twelve Irish cereal growers have been honoured for their dedication and attention to detail in grain production.

Premium oats growers Matt and Luke Dempsey clinched the Glanbia Ireland 2021 Grain Supplier of the Year Award for 2021, amid strong competition from across the country following a bumper harvest.

From barley to beans, the annual awards programme recognises the excellence of the top-class Irish crops delivered by growers each year.

The growers from Celbridge in Co Kildare operate a tillage and beef enterprise, with around 250 acres allocated to cereal crops.

Glanbia Ireland Agronomist Peter O’Grady presents the Glanbia Ireland 2021 Grain Supplier of the Year and Food Grade Oats awards to Luke (left) and Matt Dempsey (right) on their farm at Celbridge, Co Kildare.	Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke
Glanbia Ireland Agronomist Peter O’Grady presents the Glanbia Ireland 2021 Grain Supplier of the Year and Food Grade Oats awards to Luke (left) and Matt Dempsey (right) on their farm at Celbridge, Co Kildare. Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke

“We are truly delighted to have been selected for the Grain Supplier of the Year Award. We take great pride in delivering top-class crops and constantly strive to innovate and operate sustainable practices on our farm,” said Matt Dempsey, whose Griffenrath Farm Partnership won the Food Grade Oats award with a gluten-free oats crop delivering an average specific weight of 59.3 kph at 15.5% moisture across 240 tonnes.

“We value the use of break crops in maintaining healthy soil structure on our farm, aiding soil fertility, weed control and overall grain quality. We also benefit from significant yield improvement following the use of a break crop. The organic manure from the beef enterprise also helps maintain soil structure and fertility.”

A range of break crops are grown on the farm, including beans, oats and oilseed rape, allowing for the production of seed wheat and gluten-free oats. “We strongly believe in premium crops as it is important that growers maximise the return from all crops, whilst delivering high-quality grains for the end-user,” said Matt Dempsey.

Glanbia Co-op Chairman John Murphy said the calibre of the entrants to the awards is a reflection of the hard work, dedication and professionalism displayed throughout the grain sector.

Glanbia Ireland Green Feed Barley winner Diarmuid MacAmhlaiobh (right).
Glanbia Ireland Green Feed Barley winner Diarmuid MacAmhlaiobh (right).

“We are extremely proud of our top-class portfolio of grains and the high quality is a direct result of the pride that our growers take in their work each and every day. The weather often takes a toll on farmers, particularly grain growers, and it was good to note the favourable conditions and excellent yields were matched by strong prices for the 2021 harvest.

“We feel it is important to recognise the efforts that growers make to produce top quality grain on a consistent basis and to adopt sustainable practices. It is noticeable that some growers are winning an award for a second or third time in different categories.”

The awards are run by Glanbia Ireland, the largest buyer and user of Irish grains.

In 2021, the firm’s green grain intake increased to over 190,000 tonnes, with excellent yields and strong prices for crops. Glanbia Ireland Director of Ingredients, Aoife Murphy, said the firm’s state-of-the-art new Innovation Centre would deliver new opportunities for quality Irish grains.

“We are expanding our portfolio of solutions to include organic oatmeal which is in response to growing consumer demand in this area. Our closed-loop supply chain is a real unique selling point for our customers,” Ms Murphy said.

“We are also continuing to innovate with our oats ingredients in line with evolving trends in the plant-based category. As a direct response to these market trends, we recently launched a range of oat-based cheese alternatives targeted at foodservice and at food industry manufacturers.”

Glanbia Ireland’s grain and ingredients teams have focused strongly on value-added premium crops, with over €2m in premiums paid over and above the feed price to farmers for last year’s harvest.

Green Feed Barley

Diarmuid MacAmhlaiobh, from Kill St Annes, Castlelyons, Co Cork picked up the award for Green Feed Barley.

Mr MacAmhlaiobh farms approximately 140 acres of combinable crops adjacent to Castlelyons village in Co Cork on the banks of the River Bride, with crops grown including winter wheat, winter barley and spring malting barley, with advice from agronomist is David Quinlan.

Commenting on his award, judges said: “Attention to detail is of paramount importance to Diarmuid and due care is taken throughout the season to ensure the crops are grown to the best possible standard. High soil fertility is a key area Diarmuid focuses on year after year to ensure the consistency of both grain yield and quality. All crops are established using a plough-based system.”

Aside from farming, Mr MacAmhlaiobh is a passionate machinery enthusiast and also has a very keen interest in the equine industry.

The winning crop averaged a specific weight of 70.4kph, 0.8% screenings and 9.9% protein at a moisture of 14.5% across 183 tonnes.

Green Feed Oats

Deerpark Farming from Lismore, Co Waterford was named the winner of the Green Feed Oats category.

The Lismore farm is run by John Morrison with his wife Deirdre, who together farm over 200 hectares of tillage in the Blackwater Valley outside Lismore in Co Waterford.

Their crop rotation incudes winter wheat, winter barley, spring oats, spring feed beans and winter rape.

Oilseed rape and first wheats are sown via a min-till system using a Vaderstad spirit drill while all other crops are drilled after ploughing. The Morrisons have recently installed grain handling and storage facilities with the aid of a TAMS tillage grant, indicating their confidence in the future of the sector.

The award-winning crop averaged a specific weight of 57.4kph at 15.4% moisture across a total production of over 200 tonnes.

The Morrisons’ Glanbia agronomist is Paul McKevitt.

Winter (Cassia) Feed Barley

Bobby Miller, Rathmore, Stradbally, Co Laois

Malting Barley

John Kehoe, Kilscanlon, Foulksmills, Co Wexford

Dried Feed Barley

Paul and PJ McGrath, Tara, Durrow, Tullamore, Co Offaly

Seed Barley

Eamon McGrath, Garryhunden, Milford, Co Carlow

Green Feed Wheat

Doyle Produce Ltd; Luffany, Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny

Dried Feed Wheat

Quigley Agri Contracting Ltd; Kildangan, Monasterevin, Co Kildare

Seed Wheat

Ballingale Farms Ltd - Martin & Jamie Whelan, Ballingale, Ferns, Co Wexford

Food Grade Oats

Griffenrath Farm Partnership - Matt & Luke Dempsey, Celbridge Co Kildare

Green Feed Beans

Sylvester Bourke, Killiniskyduff, Arklow, Co Wicklow

Green Oilseed Rape

Francis & Thomas Bennett, Mooneystown, Athboy, Co Meath

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