COLUMBIA, Mo. — Now that hay season is finally in full swing, it’s a good time to pull hay samples for entry in the Hay Show at the Ozark Empire Fair, July 28-Aug. 6 in Springfield. Even though the weather has presented challenges for ideal hay or haylage production, you can use the hay test results to begin planning your winter hay feeding strategy and learn to improve your haymaking skills.
The entry deadline for the Hay Show is July 18. The cost is a bargain at $23 per sample. To enter, contact the nearest University of Missouri Extension specialist as they pull the core samples from the 10-bale entry.
The show accommodates either dry hay or haylage in conventional small bales or large, high-moisture forage.
Space at the fair only allows for displaying the Champions and Reserves in the two divisions. Within each division the classes are divided among legumes, cool-season grass, warm-season perennial grass, grass-legume mix and summer/winter annual grass.
The hay exhibit at the fair will be educational and have booklets on display with all the exhibitors’ data, which includes test results from Custom Lab in Monett. Past exhibitors credit the show with marketing assistance.
The class placings will be based on relative forage quality (RFQ). In addition to RFQ, data will include moisture, crude protein, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber and total digestible nutrients (TDN). The forage must have been harvested in Missouri in 2022. Exhibitors are limited to two entries per class. No more than one entry per field per cutting may be made.
Due to the emphasis on education about forage analysis and how to interpret lab results for planning supplemental feed needs, premiums are limited to ribbons, rosettes and cash prizes for the top six entries in each class. This year, there will be a special prize of a new hay probe from Custom Lab for top winners of the dry hay and haylage classes.
For more details, contact Tim Schnakenberg, Galena, 417-357-6812.
— MU Extension