MACON, Ga. — As the winner of Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2019 Quality Hay Contest, Turner County Farm Bureau member Jeff Lamb has enjoyed baling his hay this year with a new Vermeer 604R baler. Lamb’s’ first place prize was getting the free use of the baler with the option to buy it at a reduced price at the end of the year.
Vermeer delivered the baler to Lamb back in the spring. Vermeer and GFB representatives visited with Lamb at his farm on Sept. 9 to see how his 2020 hay season has gone and how the baler has performed for him.
Lamb, whose family has farmed the same land in northern Turner County for more than 100 years, submitted a sample of his Russell Bermudagrass last fall and achieved a Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) score of 155. RFQ is a measure of the nutritional value and palatability of the hay.
Lamb and his father Doyle, work 60 acres, growing hay both for commercial sale and to feed their own herd of cattle.
“I had entered the contest for several years,” Lamb said. “I think I’d been in the top five a couple of times, but when they told me I had won it was a shock and an honor. I was very well pleased. There’s some very good hay people that always enter and do real well.”
The 2019 contest drew 40 entries and the average RFQ for all entries was 120.77.
Lamb gets a year’s use of the baler and will have the option to buy it at a reduced price at the end of the year.
“It is good to reward them, to recognize people for the achievements that they made, to have people focus on quality hay production as well as quality feed production,” said Vermeer Regional Manager Bryan Setzer. Vermeer has provided the GFB Hay Contest top prize for 20 years.
GFB is now accepting entries for the 2020 Quality Hay Contest. Hay entered in the 2020 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. 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.
Entry forms outlining all contest rules may be picked up at local county Farm Bureau offices or downloaded at www.gfb.ag/HayContest. The deadline to enter is Oct. 31.
–Georgia Farm Bureau