The 2015 Southeastern Hay Contest has expanded its prize offerings greatly. Part of the Sunbelt Ag Expo, the contest will offer hay and baleage producers in the Southeast cash prizes and, in some cases, free use of Massey Ferguson hay equipment.
Since 2004, the SE Hay Contest has been spotlighting high quality hay and baleage production in the Southeast. The Cooperative Extension programs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have organized the SE Hay Contest since its inception.
“We hope every high quality hay producer from Texas to Virginia will enter for a chance to win. Our goal is to demonstrate the potential to produce high quality hay and baleage in the Southeast. Just as important, we want to highlight the technology that makes it all possible,” said Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia Extension forage specialist and the contest’s coordinator this year.
Forage growers in the Southeast have increased the quality of their forage because of unprecedented prices in most livestock sectors, great demand for their products, and a need for efficiency due to high input costs. “The key to success has always been timely management,” Hancock said.
Good management has been made more efficient with the use of improved forage varieties, advanced harvest equipment, and other technologies that have come to the market during the last decade. “It is hard to recall a more exciting time in the hay and forage industry,” he said.
Massey Ferguson has joined the effort by being the title sponsor for the SE Hay Contest. They will be providing the grand prize of a new Massey Ferguson RK Series rotary rake for the 2016 hay production season and a $1,000 cash prize. Additionally, Massey Ferguson will provide the first-place winner in the Warm Season Perennial Grass Category with the use of a new DM Series Professional disc mower for the 2016 hay production season.
Each of the 7 categories has been sponsored by additional industry partners. These sponsorships will provide cash awards to the top 3 places in each category, including $125 for 1st prize, $75 for 2nd prize, and $50 for 3rd prize.
Producers from all 13 southeastern states are encouraged to enter the contest. The deadline is Sept. 28.