Summerhill farmer Donal Keane has claimed top spot for the Flahavans Organic Oats Grower of the Year competition.
Donal has been farming 143 acres with his family organically since 2011 in Summerhill, Co Meath. It is a mixed enterprise farm with tillage and an Angus suckler herd. Oats are the main crop occupying about half of the farm.
Donal’s oats yielded 2.0 tonnes/acre at 12% moisture. Independent judging was carried out by Agronomist & Cereals Specialist, Jim O’Mahony who said on the Donal’s harvest sample saying “I examined the sample taken from the crop at Flahavans, it was excellent quality with a clean golden colour”.
A spokesperson for Flahavans said “Donal is a very progressive business like organic grower. Donal is a keen advocate of organic farming and is constantly seeking ways to improve the technology & techniques used in the industry. He is consummate about maintaining and improving the environment.”
The Awards were split into two categories -conventional oat growers and organic oat growers.
Winners and runners up in both categories were selected on the basis of Overall Grain Quality, taking into account kernel content; bushel weight; moisture levels; aroma; flavour; colour & cleanliness.
Judge Jim O’Mahony reviewed the selected samples and interviewed shortlisted growers, he then reduced the shortlist to just three finalists from each category – a winner and two runners up. The finalists were assessed on the basis of grower excellence, which included cereal knowledge; farm practice & technique as well as environmental sustainability.
Johnny Flahavan, Operations Manager at Flahavan’s commented “The standard of Oats supplied to Flahavan’s is consistently exceptional, and we’re delighted that these awards are able to showcase the ‘best of the best’ among our growers. Our sincerest congratulations to our winners and runners up, a well deserved recognition for top quality tillage farmers.”