Father and son from rival clubs share top farming prize

The de Feyter farming family are the joint winners of the Holt and Stalham malting barley championship

Two farms run by the same Norfolk family have become the joint winners of the Holt and Stalham malting barley championship. Pictured from left are Edward de Feyter with his father Graham and son Andrew - Credit: Chris Borrett

A father and son from rival farming clubs shared the honours as Norfolk’s malting barley championship was declared a tie for the first time in its 20-year history.

The annual competition between Stalham and Holt Farmers' Clubs was contested by Graham De Feyter, of Edingthorpe, who won the Holt title, and his son Edward, of C H Callow and partners of East Ruston, who was Stalham’s barley champion.

As similar samples were entered by father and son, the honours were declared even, said competition organiser Chris Borrett, a director of grain merchants Adams and Howling.

Edward de Feyter said: "It was a very pleasant surprise. We knew father put a sample into Holt Farmers' Club, which he has been a member of for 50 years, and we put a sample into Stalham for CF Callow, which I am also a partner of.

"We share machinery but the two farms are separate holdings. Father is 86 and he is still a partner in the business. He still keeps an eye on the boys and makes sure we are doing it properly."

The sample of Flagon malting barley grown by the de Feyter family was judged the supreme inter-club champion by Bob King, of the Great Ryburgh-based Crisp Malting Group.

Mr de Feyter said: "It was purely due to the weather, and luck. We had the rain at the right time and it produced a bold sample." 

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Stalham Farmers’ Club also announced other competition results, which includes a trophy for its president, Thomas Love, of Walcott.

Denis Walsh, who judged the potato competition, said the winning field of Innovator variety, grown near Brumstead Church, was entered by Mr Love's son William.

The whole-crop sugar beet competition was won by Robert Cook, of Boundary Farm, Ingham, and the wheat competition was won by Milligen McLeod, of East Ruston.

Sugar beet judge Ken Matthews, of North Runcton, near King’s Lynn, who joined the club in 1967 when he became a fieldsman for British Sugar at Cantley, announced he has decided to stand down.

After moving to Wissington in 1975, he remained associated with the club and has judged the annual competition for the last 16 years. The club sent its best wishes for his retirement.

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