A family with a string of agricultural accolades have harvested good results from a national silage competition.

The Hodgsons, who farm on top of Hadrian’s Wall at Burgh by Sands, have invested heavily in the land over the last few years and their hard work has paid off.

For the family, who run one of the most admired Holstein herds in the country, won the Carrs Billington national silage competition.

They were one of five regional winners who went through to a final round of judging by Anya Westland of Myerscough College.

Harry, Margaret, David and Louise received a clutch of prizes from sponsors Ecosyl, Barenbrug Seeds and Origin Fertilisers.

They were also presented with a £100 voucher for Carrs Country Stores as winners of the north and west Cumbrian region.

Judging was centered around silage clamp and farm management as well as analysis of samples. The family was described as exceptionally conscientious stockmen, whose herd was judged to be one of the very best in the entire country.

As proud winners of the prestigious Holstein Premier Herd and Master Breeder Award, and twice nominated for the RABDF Gold Cup, the Hodgson family last year hosted the Holstein National Open Day.

Moving to Wormanby Farm in 1971, the family started grading up their 80-head commercial British Friesian herd to pedigree Holsteins in 1985.

Currently milking 170 cows, the family fertilise their land the second week in March depending on the weather, and during the grass-growing season take four cuts, with the first in mid May or earlier.

The fourth cut, says Harry, who has farmed for 45 years at Wormanby, is for young stock. Growing a winning clamp silage, he added, is mostly attributed to instinct.

The family have become as self-sufficient as possible, growing their own forages, including maize and barley. Slurry is spread, as well as fertiliser, on the fields.

The family employ Graham Rae, from Kirkpatrick Fleming, to do most of their contracting work.

As well as taking top national awards, the family have also enjoyed success at local shows.

Investing in great cow families, attention to detail, passion and astute breeding decisions have all been key to the coveted Premier Herd title and many other awards.

David Hodgson is on Holstein UK’s national judging panel and is a past chairman of the Border and Lakeland Holstein Club.

The presentation was attended by Mhari Dawson from Barenbrug Seeds; Daniel Robinson from Ecosyl Silage Additives; Gareth Brolly, Carrs Billington and Mathew Everet, from Origin Fertilisers.