Gulf County cattlemen have a chance to prove their hay is top quality at this year’s Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia. The Southeastern Hay Contest will reward winning participants with cash prizes, with the grand prize being the use of a new Massey Ferguson RK Series rotary rake or a new DM Series Professional disc mower for the 2018 season, plus a $1000 cash prize.
There are seven categories in which the hay and baleage samples will be evaluated.
1. Warm Season Perennial Grass Hay (bermudagrass, bahiagrass, etc)
2. Alfalfa Hay
3. Perennial Peanut Hay
4. Cool Season Perennial Grass Hay (tall fescue, orchardgrass, etc.)
5. Mixed, Annual Grass, or Other Hay (legume/grass, millet, ryegrass, etc)
6. Grass Baleage (high moisture grass forage ensiled in wrapped bales)
7. Legume Baleage (high moisture legume or grass/legume ensiled in wrapped bales)
Entries will be judged using Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) testing procedures conducted by the University of Georgia Feed and Environmental Water Lab at 2300 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30602-4356. The entries will be ranked on the basis of Relative Forage Quality (RFQ), which accounts for protein, energy, and fiber digestibility. If necessary, ties in RFQ scores will be broken based on visual evaluation by the Forage Specialists from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
This contest is open to any hay or baleage producer from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma (east of I-35), South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (east of I-35), or Virginia. To qualify for entry to the Southeastern Hay Contest, the producer must complete the contest entry form. A completed contest entry form must be submitted by the County Extension Agent. This form, along with a $22 check ($20 for the testing fee plus $2 for hay contest entry fee) made payable to UGA FEW Lab, must be submitted simultaneously. All entry forms must be received by the UGA Feed and Environmental Lab by 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21.
Contestants who win the Grand Prize and/or the 1st Place in each category (or a representative of their farm) must be present at the award ceremony to receive these awards or they will be disqualified. Grand Prize winners (equipment winners) are ineligible for the overall win for the next 3 years. The Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia runs from Oct. 17-19. Award ceremony date & time will be announced before the event.
For contest rules and entry form, visit: http://blog.caes.uga.edu/sehaycontest/. Contact Gulf County Extension at 639-3200 for further assistance in submitting samples.
UF/IFAS Extension is an Equal Opportunity Institution.