The ag business can’t survive without paying close attention to numbers. Here are a few such numbers, with explanations of how they’re relevant, that pertain to the forage industry.

79 Total entries in three categories – alfalfa, BMR (brown midrib) corn silage and non-BMR corn silage – for the 2012 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge. The number of entries in both silage categories is up compared to last year’s number, while the number of alfalfa entries is about the same, reports Dan Putnam, University of California Extension forage specialist and an organizer of the event. Winners of this year’s challenge, now in its third year, will be announced at the 2012 World Ag Expo, scheduled for Feb. 14-16 in Tulare, CA. The contest is open to forage growers in 11 Western states.

161.8 Relative feed value of the winning entry in the 2011 Georgia Farm Bureau Quality Hay Contest. The first-place entry, Tifton 44 bermudagrass, was submitted by Selman Farms in Chattooga County.

$250 Per-ton price of a load of alfalfa medium square bales sold at the Mid-American Auction Co. quality-tested hay auction in Sauk Centre, MN, on Dec. 15. Relative feed value for the load was 176. For a summary of prices at Mid-American’s sales held in November and December, check out this blog posting by Dan Martens, University of Minnesota Extension educator for Stearns, Benton and Morrison counties.

$100,000 Estimated value of hay lost in two haystack fires – on Dec. 20 and 29 – near Mattawa, WA. The local sheriff’s department believes the fires may have been the work of arsonists. Source: Seattle Times.