The winner’s circle at the 25th annual World’s Forage Analysis Superbowl in Madison, WI, last week included some familiar faces. Karl and Barb Wogsland, Scandinavia, WI, captured another first place in the dairy hay category, while Kendall Guither, Walnut IL, repeated as champion in the commercial baleage category.

In other hay categories, Brent and Louann Gjermo, Deerfield, WI, notched first-place honors in dairy haylage and the top award in commercial hay went to Kellie Hinman, Wheatland, WY. In corn silage categories, Stardust Dairy, South Solon, OH, won for dairy (standard) corn silage, while Spring Prairie Colony, Hawley, MN, won the top award in brown midrib dairy corn silage. Vreba Hoff Dairy 2, Hudson, MI, earned contest grand champion honors with a standard corn silage entry.

This year’s competition drew 241 entries, 59 more than last year’s contest. “We had entries from 24 states and the bulk of states where dairy production is significant,” says University of Wisconsin agronomist and contest organizer Dan Undersander. “On quality, we had some of the highest relative forage quality (RFQ) numbers that we’ve seen in a long time.”

Speaking at the Superbowl awards banquet last week during World Dairy Expo, Undersander explained that contest dairy samples are judged 60% on lab analysis, 20% on visual appraisal, 10% on herd production information and 10% on calculated milk per ton. Commercial samples are judged 70% on lab analysis and 30% on visual appraisal. “The visual judging includes an assessment of color, texture, maturity and leafiness, according to category,” noted Undersander. “We want to make sure each sample is handled in a typical fashion for its category.”

If you’re interested in entering next year’s competition, contact AgSource Soil and Forage Laboratory, 106 North Cecil St., Bonduel, WI 54107. Phone is 715-758-2178. Entries are due Sept. 3, 2009. To contact Undersander, e-mail djunders@wisc.edu. For more on this year’s winners, watch for the November issue of Hay & Forage Grower.