Country Boy Farm of Edgefield, SC, swept all three places in the legume baleage category in the 2012 Southeastern Hay Contest, held last week in conjunction with the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo in Moultrie, GA. This is the first time in the history of the contest that one farm family has captured all three spots in a single category, says Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia Extension forage specialist. “It is the hay contest’s triple crown.”

All three of Country Boy Farm’s category entries registered more than 300 relative forage quality (RFQ) points. “The RFQ was so high that the values were considered outside the calibration of the machine, as any RFQ scoring greater than 300 is considered out of range.” The farm’s winning entry also tested 36.4% crude protein and 81.2% total digestible nutrients.

Duncan Legacy Farms, Carrollton, GA, notched first-place awards in the warm-season, perennial grass-hay and the cool-season, perennial grass-hay categories. Other category winners included Geralds Farms, Munfordville, KY, in the perennial peanut-alfalfa hay category; Wes Smith, Thomaston, GA, in mixed and annual grass hay and Rolling Rock Farms, Cumming, GA, in grass baleage.

This year’s contest attracted 150 entries from throughout the southeastern U.S., a 24% increase compared to last year’s total. “(That’s) largely a reflection of the severity of the growing conditions in 2011 and the recovery that we had in the later part of this season,” says Hancock.

Organizers are already gearing up for next year’s contest. Official entry forms and contest guidelines will be posted soon on the Georgia Forages Web site.

Hear Hancock's comments on this year's contest in this video.