Published on 10/18/16

SE Hay Contest winners announced

By Clint Thompson

Winners of this year’s Southeastern Hay Contest were announced on Tuesday, Oct. 18, the first day of the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo held in Moultrie, Georgia.

This year, 269 entries vied for the top spot, the prize for which is $1,000 cash and the use of a new Massey Ferguson RK Series Rotary Rake or DM Series Professional Disc Mower for the 2017 growing season.

The grand prizewinner was Bohlen and Son Farms, from Madison, Georgia. Bohlen and Son Farms posted a relative forage quality, or RFQ, score of 254.

“The Southeastern Hay Contest is an event that allows producers in the Southeastern United States the opportunity to showcase their high-quality hay. The contest is divided into nine different categories, which allows us to recognize a wide range of growers,” said Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension forage specialist.

This year’s categories include warm-season perennial grass hay, alfalfa hay, perennial peanut hay, cool-season perennial grass hay, mixed annual grass or other hays, grass baleage, legume baleage and high-moisture legume or grass/legume mix. High-moisture grass hay is another category, but it did not have any entries this year.

This year’s winners include:

Warm-season perennial grass hay – 107 entries

Farm City State RFQ

Bacon’s Fields, Dudley, Georgia: 175

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Farm Beef Unit, Tifton, Georgia: 157

Horace Pippin, Thomaston, Georgia: 154

Alfalfa hay – 16 entries

Farm City State RFQ

Bohlen and Son Farm, Madison, Georgia: 254

Mountain Side Farm, Taylorsville, North Carolina: 250

Bill Conrad, Malone, Florida: 238

Perennial peanut hay – two entries

Farm City State RFQ

Stoltzfus Farms, Blountstown, Florida: 168

Basford Farms, Grand Ridge, Florida: 155

Cool-season perennial grass hay – 33 entries

Farm City State RFQ

Eddie Wilson, LaFayette, Georgia: 162

Randall Selman, Armuchee, Georgia: 149

J and B Farms, Lyerly, Georgia: 140

Mixed annual grass or other hays – 44 entries

Farm City State RFQ

Bohlen and Son Farm, Madison, Georgia: 232

Bohlen and Son Farm, Madison, Georgia: 180

Bammann Hay and Trucking Inc., Aubrey, Texas: 175

Grass baleage – 52 entries

Farm City State RFQ

Walters Farm, Thomaston, Georgia: 216

Ernie Cooper, Lavonia, Georgia: 216

Yon Family Farms, Ridge Spring, South Carolina: 216

Legume baleage – 12 entries

Farm City State RFQ

Marcus South, Thomaston, Georgia: 223

Marcus South, Thomaston, Georgia: 201

Marcus South, Thomaston, Georgia: 198

High-moisture legume or grass/legume mix – three entries

Farm City State RFQ

Grubb Grass, Comer, Georgia: 238

Castleberry Farms, Gainesville, Georgia: 210

Grubb Grass, Comer, Georgia: 195

“This was another challenging year for forage growers in the Southeast. Extreme drought in Alabama and Georgia reduced quantity, but the quality of what was grown was generally good. In other areas, frequent rainfall, especially early in the season, increased yields, but delayed hay and baleage harvests, lowering forage quality,” Hancock said.

The three highest entries in each category received cash prizes – $125 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third.

Clint Thompson is an agriculture writer based in Tifton, Georgia.

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