A firm fixture of the annual Penrith Show has taken centre stage this year.
While the rest of the show, which was established in 1834, has been moved to a virtual arena, the arable competition went ahead as normal. It has been an integral part of Penrith Show for several years, but entries are seldom seen by anyone other than the farmer and the judge.
There were almost 40 entries across the seven classes in this year’s show, including spring and winter barley and wheat, root crops, maize and a catch-all cereal category. The judge was Stephen Hemingway, a retired agronomist from Aspatria Farmers. He was accompanied by Penrith Show chief steward Chris Wilson.
Mr Hemmingway said: “The quality of the crops was very good, especially considering the hot dry spring which made it difficult to establish spring sown crops, particularly with the lighter soils around the Penrith area. “Winter barleys were especially affected as the dry weather coincided with the main growth period.”
The best managed crop overall, and winners of the O’Reilly Diamond Jubilee Perpetual Trophy, were Alan and Ben Taylor, of Plumpton Old Hall.
Mr Hemmingway said: “In my opinion the best overall crop was the spring beans entered by the Taylors — it was outstanding!”
Ben Taylor said: “We have scaled back our contracting business to enable us to do more farming.
“This is the first time we have grown beans and we’re grateful to Steven Gate from Agrovista for his advice and support. So far, the crop is looking good and we’re able to explore a variety of potential markets.
“We were encouraged by fellow farming neighbour Hugh Lowthian to have a go at Penrith Show’s arable competition – so it was fantastic to win the trophy in our first year.”
The main category sponsor of the arable competition was Penrith Building Society with Agrovista providing sponsorship in two classes. Photos of the winners were taken by 13-year-old Matthew Wilson.
Results: Winter sown barley — 1 Mark Holliday, Town Head Farm Langwathby; 2 Robert Lyle, Staingills; 3 Hugh Lowthian, West Brownrigg. Spring sown barley — 1 Mark Holliday; 2 Robert Lyle; 3 Chris Wilson, Skirwith Hall. Winter sown wheat — James Todd, Newton Rigg; 2 Chris Wilson; 3 Joe Taylor, Low Howgill. Spring sown wheat — Chris Wilson. Roots crop — Chris Wilson; 2 Mark Holliday; 3 James Todd. Maize under plastic sown crop — 1 Martyn Lyall, High Oaks; 2 Chris Wilson; 3 Scott Grierson, Skelton. Other cereal crop — 1 Alan and Ben Taylor, Plumpton Old Hall; 2 Messrs Fisher, Yanwath Wood House; 3 Joe Taylor. Overall crop — Alan and Ben Taylor.