The 2017 Ozark Empire Fair Hay Show will have changes aimed at attracting more entrants. The increase in haylage harvest in the region will allow farmers to enter wrapped hay whether the bales were individually wrapped or placed in an in-line wrapper.
Another change is to convert the system of evaluation from Relative Feed Value (RFV) to Relative Forage Quality (RFQ). Research consistently shows RFQ to be a superior way to evaluate forages. Instead of digestible dry matter, the total digestible nutrient (TDN) percent of dry matter will be used in the RFQ calculation. There are different equations used depending on whether the primary forage is legume or grass.
The third change is the elimination of the subjective scoring of the entries by a judge.
“In the past thirty-two shows, the final index used to determine the winners in each class involved placing a numerical score on traits such as color, condition, purity and smell. The subjective score accounted for 40 percent of the final score with the RFV providing 60 percent,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
These changes will be monitored to gauge the acceptance by the hay growers.
The RFQ adoption and elimination of subjective scores allows both small rectangular bales and large hay packages to be compared equally as hay will not be brought to the Ozark Empire Fair. In the past the large packages were limited to only one per class being evaluated for overall champion.
The Missouri State Fair Hay Show will adopt RFQ as the objective measure for nutritional purposes. The State Fair will continue using a subjective score for the small bales, but will have a large package class that was RFQ hay only.
The RFQ Analysis costs two dollars more per sample.
The entries will be required to be taken by University of Missouri Extension specialists or their representatives. Entry forms may be obtained from county extension centers or online at http://www.ozarkempirefair.com/p/fair/livestock/livestockentryforms Entry deadline for OEF is July 10. State Fair entries close July 25.