Arkansas bermudagrass growers took the top three spots in the warm-season perennial grass division of the American Forage & Grassland Council (AFGC) annual hay contest. Kentucky grower Clayton Geralds also placed well in three divisions. Winners were announced during the group’s national tour meeting, held in Rogers, AR, May 17-18.

Dan Henderson, Decatur, AR, placed first in the warm-season perennial grass division with a bermudagrass at 150 relative forage quality (RFQ) and 18.8% crude protein (CP). Jimmy Jarvis, Hiwasse, AR, took second with a bermudagrass at 19.3% CP and 128 RFQ while John Ginn, Gravette, AR, finished third with a bermudagrass at 124 RFQ and 18.4% CP.

First-place cool-season perennial winner was John Welch, Charlotte Hall, MD. His tall fescue showed an RFQ of 146 with a CP of 16.2%. Geralds, Munfordville, KY, took second in that class with a fescue at 112 RFQ and 16.1% CP. Geralds also earned two firsts – in the alfalfa class with an RFQ of 186 and CP of 22.4% and the legume-grass division with hay at 134.4 RFQ and 21.2% CP.

This is the first time in many years that AFGC has divided its annual conference and tour into separate events. This past January, the annual forage spokesperson and forage bowl contests, as well as scientific research findings, were presented in Louisville, KY.

Last week’s Arkansas tour meeting brought in more than 75 university researchers, company representatives and producers to examine University of Arkansas research as well as grower experiments with bermudagrass varieties and interseeded alfalfa.

The 2013 AFGC Annual Conference will be held Jan. 6-8 in Covington, KY, while the national tour will be held May 22-24 in Syria, VA. For more information, visit www.afgc.org.

For a snapshot view of the tour, visit AFGC Forage Tour Explores The World Of Bermudagrass.