Winners in the tenth Santam Agriculture National Silage Competition announced

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Plaas Media recently celebrated ten years of its Santam Agriculture National Silage Competition when it announced the winners of its 2023 competition during a function in Pretoria. This year’s instalment of the competition received 102 entries – in 2014, the first year of the competition, this number stood on 37 entries.

Read the press release in Afrikaans here.

This year’s entries were made up of 72 maize, 16 oats, and 14 forage sorghum entries. These were made up of 72 bunkers, 22 silage bags and eight silage bales. Silages bales have been included in the competition as a formal category since 2022, and must fall in the maize, oats or forage sorghum category.

The sampling team completed a total of 15 502km while collecting the samples for analysis.

Read more about the Santam Agriculture National Silage Competition here.

This year’s sponsors

The main sponsor of the 2023 competition was Santam Agriculture, who has been involved in this capacity since the inception of the competition. Hanlie Kroese of Segment Solutions Agri at Santam, congratulated the winners, saying their achievements in silage production are a testament to the potential for profitable growth in agriculture. High-quality silage is a cornerstone of this success, she said. “Combine it with a robust risk management plan that includes insurance, and you have a winning formula for sustained prosperity in this vital industry.”

The prize sponsors are Pannar Seed, Kemin Industries, Strapping & Profile Manufacturers, Nutribase, Pioneer Seed, TWK Agri and first-time sponsor, Orkel. The laboratory sponsor for the sample analysis is Labworld.

Once sponsorships with existing prize sponsors have been confirmed for 2024, sponsorship applications will open for other companies. So be sure to keep an eye on our social media platforms for more information.

Participating companies and producers

A total of 23 companies entered their clients or themselves in the 2023 competition. These were Stratford Farming, Exact Silage, AFGRI Animal Feeds, Sentraal Suid Koöperasie (SSK), Nova Feeds/Quantum Foods, Meadow Feeds Natal, Heinz Boerdery, Kemin Industries, Strapping & Profile Manufacturers, Nutribase, Witwildt CC, TWK Agri, Sparta Beef Marquard, Sparta Beef Taaiboschbult, Budissa Bagger, Pioneer Seed, Pannar Seed, Lake Agriculture, Summer Crest Trading, Faber Family Trust, Winterstorm Investments, Hulley Brothers, and Simpson & Son Farming.  

Ten years’ worth of data

Over the last ten years, a total of 765 samples were entered in the competition. Of these, 582 were maize, 103 oats and 63 forage sorghum. A further 17 samples were received in the open category which includes grass silage. All the competition categories have shown consistent growth over the years.

A total of 58 companies participated in the competition over the last ten years, two of which have been involved since the competition’s inception, namely AFGRI Animal Feeds and Sparta Beef.

The three companies with the most entries over the last ten years are Pannar Seed with 100 entries since they started participating in 2017, AFGRI Animal Feeds with 95 entries since 2014, and Nutribase with 53 entries since 2017.

The sampling process

This year’s sampling was conducted by two post-graduate Animal Science students from the University of Pretoria, Jan-Hendrik Blignaut and Phillip Pretorius. Richardt Venter of AgSci Unlimited, one of the competition co-ordinators, trained the students in the competition protocol during a special training day.

The samples were once again placed in the capable hands of Dr Elrisa Taljaard and her team at Labworld for analyses, and Prof Robin Meeske of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s Outeniqua Research Farm analysed the data. He is the founder and patron of the competition protocol.

The winners

This year’s finalists saw various category and overall winners returning to compete for the title of silage king. Many silage bales featured under the finalists this year, following its formal inclusion in the competition categories in 2022.

The forage sorghum category sees a previous winner taking top honours again:

  • 3rd place: Hano Lombard, Westend Landgoed, entered by Nutribase.
  • 2nd place: Pieter Hamman, Berg en Dal Boerdery, entered by AFGRI Animal Feeds.
  • 1st place: Dewald te Water of the farm Goedehoop, with a silage bale entered by their company, Exact Silage. Dewald also won this category with a silage bale in 2022.

In the oats category a previous finalist has taken first place, with new entrants in second and third place. In addition, two of the three finalists were entered by the same company:

  • 3rd place: Pierre Jacques-Human of the farm Goedgelee, entered by AFGRI Animal Feeds.  
  • 2nd place: PV du Toit of Middelpos Agri, entered by Quantum Foods/Nova Feeds.
  • 1st place: Coenie Basson of the farm Droëvlei, entered by AFGRI Animal Feeds.

The maize category welcomes back previous winners in both first and second place:

  • 3rd place: Willie du Preez of Vizicor, entered by Pannar Seed.
  • 2nd place: Hano Lombard of Westend Landgoed, entered by Nutribase. Hano and his team at Westend Landgoed won this category and the overall competition in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021.
  • 1st place: Bennie van Greunen of Van Greunen Boerdery in George, entered by Kemin Industries.

And the title of overall winner and our 2023 silage king, goes to Bennie van Greunen of Van Greunen Boerdery. He repeats his achievement of 2016, when he also walked away with the crown.

We wish to congratulate every winner, entrant and participating company with these exceptional results and hope to welcome them all back in 2024. Be sure to purchase a copy of the December issue of Veeplaas and Stockfarm to read about the trends derived from this year’s competition data. Read all about our silage king, Van Greunen Boerdery, in the January issues of Veeplaas and Stockfarm.

Visit the Farm TV YouTube channel to see more about this year’s competition. – Press release, Plaas Media

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For more information regarding the 2024 competition as well as sponsorships, contact Deidré Louw on 066 231 2430 or deidre@plaasmedia.co.za.

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