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Bales of hay in a field.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Alabama hay producers can compete against people from 13 states in the Southeastern Hay Contest, a part of the 2019 Sunbelt Ag Expo. The contest allows producers to compare the quality of their hay to other producers with a chance to win cash prizes.

Leanne Dillard, an Alabama Extension forage specialist, said this contest is a great opportunity for Alabama producers.

“The farmers in our state work hard to produce and provide good quality hay for their livestock,” Dillard said. “This contest is a great way for them to show off their hard work and potentially win cash prizes.”

Who Can Enter?

Any producer in a outheasternS state can enter this contest. However, entries must be submitted by the farm where the forage was grown. States that are eligible for the contest include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma (east of I-35)
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas (east of I-35)
  • Virginia

Those interested in submitting an entry can download the rules and entry form at the Southeastern Hay Contest website. The deadline to enter is Thursday, Sept. 19. The winners will be announced Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia.

The UGA Feed and Environmental Water Lab will judge the entries. The sample with the highest relative forage quality (RFQ) score wins. The RFQ score rates the forage quality based on protein, energy and fiber digestibility.

Categories and Prizes

The hay contest is divided into seven categories. Each category will award three placings, with $150 going to the first-place winner and $100 and $75 going to second and third place, respectively. Categories include:

  • warm season perennial grass hay
  • cool season perennial grass hay
  • perennial peanut hay
  • alfalfa hay
  • mixed annual grass or other hay
  • legume baleage
  • grass baleage

First-place winners from each category will compete for the overall title and a grand prize of $1,000. Massey Ferguson is also providing this winner with either an RK Series rotary rake or a new DM Series Professional disc mower to use for the 2020 hay production season.

More Information

Farmers interested in learning more about taking a hay or baleage sample, view this instructional video from Massey Ferguson. For more information, contact Leanne Dillard or your county Extension office.

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