Champion farming family's barley is top of the crops
- Credit: Mary Beck
A champion sugar beet grower has won Norfolk’s top malting barley title to add to his family’s growing haul of farming silverware.
Alan Beck's sample of Flagon malting barley was judged the top of the crops in Stalham Farmers’ Club’s annual competition against their friendly rivals, Holt and District Farmers’ Club.
It was the first time that Mr Beck and his son Geoffrey, who farm at Brunstead near Stalham, had won the club’s barley trophy, which was first presented in 1937.
Mr Beck said: "It was quite a surprise. We are often in the running for the sugar beet, but not normally for the barley - it is normally someone on lighter land who gets a better sample."
Competition judge Bob King, commercial director of the Crisp Malting Group, rated the Beck family's barley ahead of a sample of the same variety grown by Ed Jones, of Harold Jones Farms in Little Witchingham, which had won Holt’s barley championship.
The inter-club trophy was presented at Stalham Farmers’ Club’s annual dinner.
The Beck family, which has farmed at Brunstead since 1919, also won the Cantley Cup for highest overall yield in the latest sugar beet campaign.
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C N Beck and Sons produced 1.5 tonnes per hectare more than the club’s retiring president Thomas Love, of Walcott Farms. The club’s new chairman, William Sands, of HBS Farms, finished a very close third.
Robert Cook, of Ingham, retained the trophy for the best beet crop for the third year in a row. The Beck family was runner-up and Tim Papworth, of LF Papworth in Felmingham, was third.
Former Norfolk NFU chairman Thomas Love won the club’s potato cup with a crop of Innovator variety grown at Brunstead.
A special presentation of the E H Wenn President’s Cup was made by the retiring chairman Chris Borrett to Mr Love in recognition of his many years of support for the club.
The annual dinner, which was the first to be held since 2019, was attended by more than 70 members and guests at North Walsham Rugby Club.
The guest speaker was former North Norfolk MP Sir Norman Lamb, who highlighted the growing concerns and lengthy delays in access to mental health treatment and counselling for young people, especially for a record number of teenagers and children.