For the 10th consecutive year, bermudagrass hay from Benton County, AR, has won its class in the American Forage and Grassland Council’s (AFGC) National Hay Show.
Winners of this year’s contest were announced at the recent AFGC annual conference in Springfield, MO. The top three warm-season grass entries were produced by Paul Arnold of Pea Ridge, AR, and Jimmy and Jeris Jarvis of Hiwasse.
“No state has ever won this many consecutive hay awards at the conference. It's especially impressive that it has consistently come from Benton County,” says Robert Seay, county Extension agent for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
“This record enables us to promote Arkansas as the home of the nation's best bermuda hay,” adds Jim Singleton, chairman of Benton County’s Quality Forage program. “Arkansas producers have continually outperformed bermuda hay growers from all over the South and Southeast.”
The Quality Forage program was started several years ago after Singleton won an Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association hay contest. Conversations between him, Seay and others led to a county-wide contest aimed at generating interest in producing high-quality bermudagrass hay, primarily for horse clients. Winners of that contest are entered in AFGC’s national competition.