Entries open for prestigious Gold Cup dairy competition

Farmers' applications must be submitted by 31 July for review by a judging panel
Farmers' applications must be submitted by 31 July for review by a judging panel

Entries are now open for the 2020 NMR RABDF Gold Cup competition, which this year celebrates its 100th year.

The award, which was first launched in 1920, recognises dairy business efficiency and has been won by some of the country’s most influential farmers.

Dairy farms are eligible for entry through four routes: two routes give automatic qualification based on official milk recording data and meeting either criteria for all year-round calving herds or for spring or autumn block calving herds.

Herds can also be nominated by their discussion or grazing group, or through a designated nominating company where a set of benchmarks should be achieved.

Entrants must complete an online application that will ask for background on the dairy business including production, management and financial details, environmental schemes and future plans.

Applications must be submitted by 31 July for review by a judging panel. A shortlist of finalists will go on to the next round, that involves a farm inspection later in 2020.

The winner of the 2020 NMR RABDF Gold Cup will be announced at Dairy-Tech on 3 February 3 2021. An open day will then take place at the winning farm in summer 2021.

The Chris May award will be presented to the Gold Cup qualifying herd with the highest herd lifetime daily yield.

What is the herd criteria for Gold Cup 2020?

In all cases, herds entering should meet the following criteria in the 12 months to 30 September 30 2019:

• More than 100 cows/heifers with qualifying lactations in the milking herd

• Annual somatic cell count average of 200,000cells/ml or less, or 250,000cells/ml for organic herds

• Minimum £PLI value specific to the breed or minimum £SCI or £ACI value

Three further awards

These awards will also be presented to Gold Cup qualifying herds that achieved the highest combined weight of fat and protein production for their breed.

• The NMR Silver Salver for the top Holstein herd

• The Lilyhill Cup for the top Jersey herd

• The Chairman’s Cup for breeds except Holstein and Jersey