Hay-sample entries are being accepted through July 10 for the Ozark Empire Fair Hay Show.

The annual show, first held in 1985, has helped hay growers and buyers learn of the benefits of forage analysis, says Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Exhibitors also find the hay show to be an excellent way to advertise their quality hay,” he says.

Those interested in entering should contact the nearest University of Missouri Extension Center. Extension specialists will visit participating farms and collect samples.

Samples will be analyzed for moisture, protein, fiber, energy and relative feed value. Top testing entries may be displayed at the Ozark Empire Fair on July 24.

“Every year, weather interferes with timely haymaking; sometimes it is too wet, sometimes it’s too dry. But, somewhere in southwestern Missouri, someone has harvested outstanding hay in 2014 and deserves to be recognized for it,” says Cole.

The entry fee for a complete forage evaluation is $20. If a grower ultimately chooses to enter the Missouri State Fair, an additional $5 fee will be charged. Visit www.ozarkempirefair.com.