Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members who grow Bermuda grass hay are encouraged to enter the GFB 2014 Quality Hay Contest. Hay entered in the contest will be tested at the University of Georgia Testing Lab using the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) Test, which predicts fiber digestibility and likely animal intake of hay.
Prizes will be presented to the top five producers. The first place winner will receive the free use of a Vermeer 504N baler for one year courtesy of the Vermeer Manufacturing Company. The winner will have the option to purchase the baler at a reduced price at the end of the year. Second place will receive a baler-mounted hay moisture tester donated by GFB.
“I’d like to encourage all of our Newton County Farm Bureau members who have grown Bermuda grass hay this year to consider entering the contest,” said Newton County Farm Bureau President Keith Mitcham. “Each person who enters the contest will receive a copy of the analysis information from the University of Georgia testing lab, which is a great tool for measuring the nutrition quality of your hay and seeing how you may need to make adjustments in your hay production methods to improve the quality of your hay.”
Producers may enter more than one sample in the contest. There is a $15 entry fee for each sample entered in the contest to cover the cost of the lab work. Applications and instructions for submitting samples are available at the Newton County Farm Bureau office or may be downloaded at the GFB website http://tinyurl.com/haycontest.
Checks to cover the entry fee should be made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau. Entry forms and samples should be sent to the GFB Commodities Department, 1620 Bass Road Macon, Ga., 31210. Entry forms and samples may also be taken to your county Farm Bureau office. The deadline to enter is Oct. 31. The contest is only open to Georgia Farm Bureau members.
Winners will be determined by RFQ analysis. Hay samples with nitrate levels above 4,500 parts per million or moisture content above 18 percent will be disqualified. Winners will be announced Dec. 8 during the GFB Hay Commodity Conference at the GFB Convention on Jekyll Island.
Contest participants will receive a detailed copy of their hay analysis information and a free listing in the GFB Hay Directory, if they so choose.
Farm Bureau members with hay for sale are also invited to list their farm in the 2015 GFB Quality Hay Directory. The directory will be printed in late November.
Hay producers should complete a form and send to the GFB office in Macon along with a check for $10 for each listing. Checks should be made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau. The directory is only open to Georgia Farm Bureau members.
Because this directory is used for the entire year, producers should include normal and projected production of round and square bales they anticipate selling. Directories are distributed to all county Farm Bureau offices, county Extension offices, the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, cattle producers, dairy producers, horse owners, directory participants, at the Sunbelt Expo and the annual GFB convention. The directory is also listed on the GFB website http://tinyurl.com/hay411.
For more information contact the Newton County Farm Bureau office at 770.786.7201 or download the directory form at http://tinyurl.com/hay411.
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the state. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB also has 20 commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major commodities grown in Georgia.