Western farmers and ranchers are invited to enter forage samples in the World Ag Expo Forage Challenge quality contest, which has a submission deadline of Dec. 10.

“Mycogen Seeds is pleased to continue its sponsorship of this program in order to recognize growers who produce high-quality forages and provide educational information to help improve forage quality,” says Greg Cannon, Mycogen Seeds forage marketing specialist.

The contest is administered in part by University of California, Davis (UC Davis), which coordinates the testing of the samples and educates producers about the benefits of producing high-quality forages.

“While high yields are very important for profitable hay and silage production, attaining high quality is a close second,” says Dan Putnam, UC Davis forage specialist. “Hay and forage quality has improved substantially over the past 40 years in major dairy regions, where dairy producers and cash hay producers have discovered the impacts of improved forage quality on milk production.”

Farmers and ranchers from 11 Western states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming – are invited to enter the challenge. Entries will be judged in three categories: alfalfa hay, standard corn silage and brown mid-rib (BMR) corn silage. Cash prizes will be awarded based on forage lab analyses along with a visual evaluation of the entries by experts in dairy nutrition and forage production.

Cost to enter the Forage Challenge is $25 per entry. All forage samples must be submitted to UC Davis for judging by Dec. 10. Click here to download the contest entry form. The contest winner will be announced Feb. 8, 2010, at World Ag Expo.

“High-quality forage is an important tool in our agriculturalist’s toolbox,” says Lee Coito, 2011 World Ag Expo chairman. “This challenge not only provides a competitive venue for our growers, but also provides an educational forum for those interested in learning how to grow higher quality forages.”

For more contest information, call 800-999-9186 or email Kerissa Chapman at kerissa@farmshow.org.

Note: This contest is not affiliated with the World’s Forage Analysis Superbowl contest held at World Dairy Expo.

Click here to read about the 2010 Forage Challenge Results.