Hay and baleage producers in the Southeast could earn major prizes in this year’s Southeastern Hay Contest at the Sunbelt Ag Expo. The 2015 SE Hay Contest is presented by Massey Ferguson. As a result of Massey Ferguson’s sponsorship and major support from sponsors for each of the seven categories in the SE Hay Contest, category winners can win cash 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. Dr. Dennis Hancock, Extension Forage Specialist from the University of Georgia, is this year’s director of the SE Hay Contest. “We hope every high quality hay producer from Texas to Virginia will enter for a chance to win,” says Hancock. “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.”
Forage growers in the SE 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,” says Hancock. Dr. Hancock also points out that 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.”
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 $1000 cash prize. Additionally, Massey Ferguson will be providing the winner of 1st Prize 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.
Dr. Hancock encourages producers from all 13 southeastern states to check out the rules and entry forms and enter. The deadline for entry into the SE Hay Contest is 5 p.m. on Monday, September 28, 2015. More information about the Contest, including the rules and entry forms, is available at bit.ly/SEHayContest2015. Also follow the Southeastern Hay Contest on Twitter (@SEHayContest) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/SEHayContest) for periodic articles, updates, and timely information on producing high quality hay and baleage.