WEST Oxfordshire farmers were once again to the fore in the opening round of this year’s Moreton-in-Marsh Show farms and crops awards.

Alan and Anne Smith and their son Richard, who run Kingham Hill Farm, were placed first in the best permanent pasture category, with Greg Dancer, of Manor Farm in Cornwell, named the runner-up.

Mr Dancer won the best one or two-year ley category and the Smiths were runners-up in the best long-term ley section. A ley is grass, usually planted as part of a crop rotation system, often used for silage or grazing.

The competition, with 16 entries from seven farms in West Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, was judged by Chris Righton and Richard Cheney, of Banbury Agricultural Society.

They said that the effects of the cold, wet spring were clearly apparent. Many grass crops, which ought to have been ready to cut, were at least two weeks late.

Lynne Parkes, Moreton Show’s farms and crops secretary, said: “Considering the tough year that farmers have had, especially with the cold weather lasting so long, it’s amazing that we had such a great number of entries.

“We’re looking forward to the next round of judging, which will be the oilseed rape and the commercial and pedigree sheep classes.”

This year’s Moreton-in-Marsh Show is on Saturday, September 7.

For more information, call 0870 877 7409 or see moretonshow.co.uk