A two-category winner and several category clean sweeps characterized the winner’s circle of the 2013 Southeastern Hay Contest. Winners were announced last week during the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo in Moultrie, GA.

Blackwater Cattle Co., of Lake Park, GA, captured first-place honors in the contest’s grass baleage and legume baleage categories. Blackwater’s winning grass baleage entry scored 191 RFQ with 17.1% crude protein and 69.6% TDN. The company’s top legume baleage sample registered 128 RFQ. Crude protein was 20.8% and TDN was 59.4%.

Joe Armstrong, Cairo, GA, captured the top three places in the mixed and annual grass-hay category. RFQ for Armstrong’s winning entry was 156. Crude protein was 15.9%, while TDN came in at 63.9%.

Vickers Still Farm, Ambrose, GA, matched Armstrong’s feat by sweeping the first three places in the perennial peanut-alfalfa hay category. The farm’s category-winning entry had an RFQ of 187, crude protein at 24.5% and TDN at 65.7%.

Lander Equest, Greenwood, GA, topped the warm-season, perennial grass hay category with a sample scoring 139 RFQ. Duncan Legacy Farm, Carrollton, GA, took the cool-season, perennial grass hay category with a sample registering an RFQ of 127.

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Contest organizers note that weather-related challenges limited participation in this year’s contest to 109 entries, down 30% from last year’s total entries. The weather also placed a drag on the average quality of samples entered. Even so, the winning RFQ scores for each of the categories were on par with or greater than the winning RFQ values from previous years, with the exception of the perennial peanut-alfalfa category.

The contest is conducted by Cooperative Extension in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Participation is open to producers in 13 southeastern states. Details on the 2014 contest will appear soon on the University of Georgia Forages website.

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