Ross Hendy; Aoife Murphy, Glanbia Ireland Director of Ingredients; Martin Keane, Glanbia Chairman; Alison Hendy and Agronomist Peter O’Grady
Offaly grain growers Ross and Alison Hendy of Cloncrane Farm have claimed the Glanbia Ireland Grain Supplier of the Year Award for 2019.
The growers from Clonbullogue were among 10 suppliers honoured for their top-class native Irish grain at the event held in Kilkenny on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
Glanbia Chairman Martin Keane congratulated the suppliers whose excellence and attention to detail were recognised at the ceremony. “Grain farmers have had to contend with difficult weather conditions in recent years, and 2019 was no different. Yet, despite this, our award winners have continued to set high standards for others to follow.
“It is clear that the production of high-quality grains continues to be of paramount importance to our growers.”
The Hendy family farms approximately 450 acres with their crop mix including winter wheat, winter barley, winters oats and grass. They operate a plough-based system on land types which vary from loam to heavy clay.
Glanbia Ireland’s Director of Ingredients Aoife Murphy told the growers at the awards ceremony that the company has made significant investments in facilities and the marketing of native Irish grains in recent years.
“We are continuously looking at new opportunities to add value to grain and increase the premiums paid to growers for specific grains. The state-of-the-art food-grade facility in Portlaoise has played a key role in producing high quality and traceable product that offers a strong premium.
“Looking to the future our new €15m R&D centre in Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny will increase our capabilities, utilise synergies across the business and allow us to bring new products to the marketplace.”
It is the attention to detail and the pride that Ross Hendy takes in his family’s work on the farm which made him stand out as the overall winner. Producing quality high-yielding crops that leave a margin is of keen importance on the Hendy farm. A strong soil health and fertility programme is followed on the farm.
It is the food-grade oats that the Hendy farm grows under contract for Glanbia Ireland which landed the top prize. The winning crop, which was the variety Barra, averaged a specific weight of over 60kph at 16.3% moisture across 108 tonnes.
Glanbia Ireland is the largest buyer and user of native Irish grains. Their total grain intake for 2019 stood at 205,000 tonnes, almost 60,000 tonnes or 40% ahead of the previous year.
In addition, Glanbia Ireland will purchase in excess of 80,000 tonnes of dried grain from the 2019 harvest.