Forage growers from 11 Western states are invited to compete in the 2011 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge, to be held in conjunction with next year’s expo, set for Feb. 8-10 in Tulare, CA.

The expo recently announced the continuation of the forage quality contest, sponsored by Mycogen Seeds. Started last year, it’s administered in part by the University of California-Davis, which coordinates sample testing and contest judging.

Cash prizes will be awarded in three categories: alfalfa hay, standard corn silage and brown midrib corn silage. The 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.

Growers are encouraged to take samples of the best corn silage and alfalfa hay they produce in 2010, and submit them to the university by Dec. 10. The cost is $25 per entry. Entry forms and contest rules can be found at

“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.”