Special to the citizen
The 2015 Southeastern Hay Contest culminated at the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo on October 20th in Moultrie, Georgia where three local farmers were recognized. The Southeastern Hay Contest is open to producers from 13 states and has seven different categories including Warm Season Perennial, Cool Season Perennial, Alfalfa, Perennial Peanut, Mixed or Annual Grass, Grass Baleage, and Legume Baleage. Forage is judged completely on the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) value. This value is determined through chemical analysis of each sample at the University of Georgia Feed and Environmental Water Lab. Samples with nitrate levels over 5000ppm or moisture levels over 18% are automatically disqualified from the contest. The 2015 contest was a landmark year as a record number of entries (375) from eight of the eligible states were entered. The only hay contest in the nation with more entries is the World Forage Superbowl, which is associated with the World Dairy Expo. Massey Ferguson is the title sponsor of the Southeast Hay Contest and provides one year’s use of a new Massey Ferguson RK Series rotary rake and $1000 cash prize for the overall winner. The top forage sample in the Warm Season Perennial Grass Category also wins the use of a new DM series Professional disc mower for the 2016 season.
Additional sponsorships provide cash prizes for top winners in each category. Three local producers made the top five in separate categories in the 2015 Southeast Hay Contest. Mr. Paul Kelly placed 4th in the Warm Season Perennial Category with his Coastal Bermuda sample. Mr. Mac Bohlen placed 4th in the Alfalfa Category and Mr. Jimbo Crumley placed 5th in the Cool Season Perennial Category with his fescue/orchardgrass mixed hay. Each of these producers were recognized in a special ceremony at the Sunbelt Expo in October. For more information on local and national hay contests, contact the Morgan County Extension office at 706-342-2214.