This week, the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) celebrated Northern Ireland’s top silage makers of last year (2023).

UFU and sponsor, United Feeds, hosted its annual silage makers’ competition awards ceremony at the Dunsilly Hotel, Co. Antrim.

Robert Macauley, Robert and Ross Bradley, Sean and Ciaran McNaughton and Clifton and Jonathan Dickson took first place in their sectors in the competition.

UFU deputy president, John McLenaghan said:

“The UFU’s annual silage competition has always encouraged farmers to produce silage to exceptional levels and once again, this year’s competition entries were to the highest standard.

“Good silage making has always been a key element of farming in Northern Ireland, where we rely heavily on our ability to grow forage for our livestock sector. With increases to input costs, it’s more important now than ever.”

Full list of winners:


  • 1st: Robert Macauley, Mid Down group;
  • 2nd: D and A Wallace, South Antrim group;
  • 3rd: Beattie and Reggie Lilburn, Lagan group.

Beef and sheep

  • 1st: Robert and Ross Bradley, North East Derry group;
  • 2nd: Billy and John Martin, Ards group;
  • 3rd Linton Brothers, Mid Antrim group.

Alternative forage

  • 1st: Clifton and Jonathan Dickson, North East Armagh group;
  • 2nd: Jonny Hutchinson, South Londonderry group;
  • 3rd: Andrew and Thomas Jamison, North Antrim group.


  • 1st: Sean and Ciaran McNaughton, North Antrim group;
  • 2nd: G R Gilmore and Son, Ards group;
  • 3rd: David Hylands, North West Derry group.
Back row (l-r): John McLenaghan UFU; Johnathan Dickson (alternative forage); Clarence Calderwood, United Feeds. Front row (l-r): Robert Bradley (beef/sheep); Clifton Dickson (alternative forage); and Ciaran McNaughton (round bale)

Clarence Calderwood from United Feeds added that high quality forage is a “key element” for all ruminant farms and that its importance has never been as high.

He then congratulated the winners of the competition and said that he was “delighted” with the number of entries for the competition.