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Sampling . . . Jim Chisholm (left) and Bob Kingan discuss which part of a kale paddock to cut and weigh in last year's Waiareka Valley and Waianakarua Lions Clubs' Winter Crop Competition. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Entries are open for the annual winter crop competition run by North Otago Lions clubs.

Farmers have until April 26 to lodge their entries, before judging starts in the first week of May.

The Waiareka Valley and Waianakarua Lions have run the contest as a fundraiser since 2015. It has allowed them to give thousands of dollars to local charities.

This year’s recipients would include the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter Trust and Oamaru St John.

A representative from Wholesale Seeds, the major sponsor, said the crops being grown in the district this year were very good.

Competition treasurer Leanne Stanger said entries had been slow to arrive to date, but that was not unusual.

There were four crop options: fodder beet, kale, swedes, and winter rape. Irrigated crops would be judged separately from dryland crops.

Lions members would visit each crop, assess an average part of it, and weigh the material growing in a square metre. That would determine the top 10 or 12, which would then be visited by a stock and station expert for the final analysis.

The winners would be announced at an awards night in the Loan and Merc on June 6.

A charity auction during the evening would add to the funds received from crop entries.

The Lions were seeking items to be donated for the auction; anyone who could contribute was asked to contact them.

Competition entry forms are available from PGG Wrightson, Farm Source, Farmlands, or by phoning Mrs Stanger on 027 200-9630 or emailing wintergreenfeed@gmail.com.