Georgia Farm Bureau is calling all members who grow Bermudagrass hay to enter its annual hay contest by Oct. 31! Hay entered in the 2019 GFB Quality Hay Contest will be tested at the University of Georgia Feed & Environmental Water Lab using the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) Test, which provides an analysis of the nutritional value of the hay.

Winners will be determined by the RFQ analysis and announced in December at the annual GFB Convention on Jekyll Island. Prizes will be presented to the top five producers. The first-place winner will receive the free use of a Vermeer TM 1200 Trailed Mower for one year, courtesy of the Vermeer Manufacturing Company. The winner will have the option to purchase the mower at a reduced price at the end of the year. Entry forms outlining all contest rules may be picked up at local county Farm Bureau offices or downloaded at www.gfb.ag/HayContest .

There is a $20 fee for each entry to cover the cost of the lab test. Checks should be made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau. Entry fees, forms and samples should be sent to the GFB Public Policy Department 1620 Bass Road Macon, Ga., 31210. Entry fees, forms and samples may also be taken to your county Farm Bureau office.

Hay entered in the contest must have been grown in Georgia on a field with at least 25 days of maturity or regrowth. Samples should be naturally dried in the field and taken with a hay probe from the center of at least five different bales (rolls or squares) that come from the same field.

Producers may enter more than one sample and will receive RFQ analysis for all samples submitted. Contestants submitting multiple samples, however, may only place in the contest’s top five for the sample with the highest RFQ score.

Previous first-place winners are not eligible to win any prizes in the contest for three years after winning. Previous first-place winners may still enter their samples to have their hay analyzed.

GFB is also accepting listings for its online hay directory. Farm Bureau members with hay for sale or who offer custom harvesting or custom sprigging services are invited to list their hay and/or services in the GFB Quality Hay Directory published on the GFB website. Hay for sale or services can be listed or removed from the directory throughout the year.

To participate, complete a submission form by visiting your county Farm Bureau office or online at www.gfb.ag/hay. Please include a $10 check made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau for each listing of hay, custom harvesting or custom sprigging. Multiple listings are allowed. Listings can be updated in the directory throughout the year as hay inventories change. Hay producers who enter the GFB Quality Hay Contest receive a free listing in the online GFB Hay Directory.

For more information about the contest contact Jeremy Taylor in the GFB Public Policy Department at jrtaylor@gfb.org.

The purpose of our annual Quality Hay Contest is to encourage and promote quality hay production. The contest is open only to Georgia Farm Bureau members who produce dry Bermuda grass hay (all types/varieties) on their farm. The entry fee is $20 per sample and is required to cover the cost of lab analysis. Contest winners will be announced at the Georgia Farm Bureau Annual Meeting at Jekyll Island in December.

All entries will be tested at the University of Georgia using the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) system to determine total digestibility. It is imperative that each sample be as dry as possible before sealing in a zip lock bag. High moisture will accelerate the build-up of mold on the sample and will cause it to be disqualified. Entries must be submitted to the Georgia Farm Bureau Public Policy Department by no later than October 31, 2019.

Producers who enter the Hay Contest can receive a free listing in the Georgia Farm Bureau Hay Directory.

Previous first place winners are not eligible to win any prize category in the contest for a period of three years following their win. However, a previous winner may enter his hay sample for the purpose of having it officially graded. Any producer submitting more than one sample can only place in the top 5 with one sample but will receive analysis for all submitted samples.

Georgia Farm Bureau Hay Contest Rules

  1. Participants must be a Georgia Farm Bureau Member.
  2. Only hay produced in Georgia is eligible to enter.
  3. Entry forms must be completed and signed and represent that all rules were followed.
  4. Hay samples must be taken from fields with a minimum maturity or re-growth of at least 25 days to ensure fair competition.
  5. Dry hay must have been dried in the field. The hay must not have been artificially dried (e.g., in a barn, forced air, fans, etc.)
  6. Fill a one gallon zip lock bag with naturally field dried core samples taken from at least 5 different bales (rolls or squares) within the same farm, same field and cut under uniform conditions.
  7. Forage samples for lab analysis must be a core sample taken with a hay probe. Contact your county extension agent for assistance if needed.
  8. Only dry Bermuda grass samples qualify to enter the contest
  9. Any samples with nitrates above 4500 ppm will be disqualified.
  10. Any sample with moisture above 18% will be disqualified.
  11. Disagreements will be decided by the GFB Hay Advisory Committee.

Complete and send this entry form, sample and a check for $20 (per sample) payable to:

Georgia Farm Bureau
Agricultural Program
1620 Bass Road
Macon, Georgia 31210

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