Livestock farmers are invited to enter the inaugural Borderway Agri Expo Silage Competition, as part of its winter livestock showcase.

Harrison & Hetherington is offering beef and sheep farmers in the North and Scotland a chance to demonstrate their highest standards in a critical area of the livestock farming skillset – grass production.

Sponsored by leading independent UK seed suppliers, Watson Seeds, the Agri Expo silage competition will offer farmers the chance to enter one of three classes:

  • Class 1: Beef Clamp;
  • Class 2: Big Bale;
  • Class 3: Whole Crop.

Entries are still open now to register for a three-stage judging process, starting with chemical analysis, followed by on-farm judging for shortlisted finalists, and culminating in the announcement of the winners on the day of the Agri Expo event.

The Northern Farmer: Andy Nelson of Watson Seeds and Laura Millar of Harrison & Hetherington

The overall winner in each class will receive their choice of any Watson Seeds Castle Mixture for eight acres, second prize will receive four acres, and two acres for third. All prizes will be available for 2024 despatch only.

Harrison & Heatherington organiser Laura Millar says this competition adds an important new dimension to Agri Expo at a critical time for the livestock farming industry.

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She says: “Good silage-making has always been a key element of livestock farming and with such significant increases to input costs over the past year, it’s more important now than ever.

"Agri Expo is already a showcase for the best of livestock farming practice, and we know this competition will attract keen entries from across the North of England and the Borders, and that it will celebrate farmers producing silage to exceptional levels.

"We’re very grateful to Watsons Seeds for offering such a powerful incentive for farmers to put their silage forward for the judges.”

Dedicated to supplying seed of the highest possible quality, Watson Seeds is a long-established seed specialist based in Scotland supplying estate and farms across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

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The business has strong links with leading plant breeders and variety trialling organisations, this supports its selection criteria of considering varieties for inclusion entirely on merit. This enables Watson Seeds to supply the latest grass varieties and the best advice to meet the tough challenges of today's farming environment.

Andy Nelson, Seed Specialist for Watson Seeds in the North and Scotland, says: “To reduce costs for farmers, and to help reduce their carbon footprint at the same time, we’re constantly developing better seeds and more effective mixtures to help make the best silage possible.

"So this competition is aimed at beef and sheep farmers who rely heavily on home grown forage, and Borderway Agri Expo is the perfect platform to highlight the quality that farmers are achieving in this vital aspect of the industry.

“Watson Seeds is delighted to collaborate with Harrison & Hetherington and we’re looking forward to forward to seeing what I know will be an excellent calibre of silage, and then meeting the finalists on-farm.”

To take part in the competition, entrants must submit samples for the first stage analysis and the top three will be shortlisted for a judges visit, where the famer will be interviewed, and a fresh sample taken for display at Agri Expo. The judges will provide details of their visit and a background to each of the shortlisted farms for the Agri Expo winners’ announcement.

Entrants must submit their intention by email no later than October 9 to Andy Nelson at Watson Seeds by emailing

“Before you enter any chemical forage analysis, please make sure you have the permission of the owner, and that the silage is available for a fresh sample should the entry reach the final selection for judging,” says Andy.

Further details will be updated regularly on the event’s website at