Croppa Creek wheat grower David Smith has been confirmed as the  regional champion in a prestigious annual wheat competition. 

Run by AgShows NSW, the peak body for 192 shows, the Suncorp Bank Championship Dryland Field Wheat Competition is judged across four regions ahead of the state final. 

The winners were announced at the state final in Dubbo, attended by Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Western NSW Dugald Saunders, 

 David Smith of Croppa Creek topped the northern NSW competition with his 7.0 t/ha and score of 209, ahead of Blake Phillips from Moree in second place (6.9 t/ha 205 pts), and the Browning family of Narromine in third place (6.45 t/ha 197pts). 

The region covers Baradine, Barraba, Bellata, Bingara, Boggabri, Bourke, Burren Junction, Coonamble, Crooble, Croppa Creek, Delungra, Garah, Gilgandra, Gulargambone, Gurley, Inverell, Manilla, Moree, Mungindi, Narrabri, Narromine, North Star, Nyngan, Tottenham, Walgett, Warialda, Warren, and Wee Waa.

Heavy rainfall in 2022 impacted crops sown later in the season, and continued to present hurdles for sponsors Suncorp throughout the judging process. 

“It was incredibly challenging with the flooding and wet weather and sponsors Suncorp needed to go to each farm in each region individually to inspect the wheat,” AgShows NSW president Peter Gooch said. 

“With so many roads cut off, sometimes a two day judging became three days including huge detours of a couple of hundred kilometres.”

Mr Gooch said northern judging was pushed back a full week due to flooding in Narrabri. 

“Weather makes it incredibly challenging and Suncorp just worked tirelessly to make it happen.”

In the central region, Grenfell wheat growers Rob and Mandy Taylor were the winners with a point score of 218 for their 7.3t/ha, ahead of Keith and Kate Perrett, Gunnedah (7.1t/ha, 215pts) and Plantation Trading, Premer (6.4t/ha, 198pts).

The Taylors were also announced as the overall winners for the state, following their success at last year’s competition when they also took out top honours for the central area as well as the state. Last year, they were also the recipient of the excellence award.

The central region covers Alectown, Binnaway, Canowindra, Carcoar, Coolah, Coonabarabran, Cowra, Cudal, Cumnock, Dubbo, Dunedoo, Eugowra, Forbes, Grenfell, 
Gulgong, Gunnedah, Manildra, Mendooran, Merriwa, Molong, Parkes, Premer, Quandialla, Quirindi, Spring Ridge, Tambar Springs, Tamworth, Wellington, Werris Creek, Wirrinya, Woodstock and Yeoval.

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