A few farmers have been successful in putting up hay the last few days, but overall, the hay season in southwest Missouri is running late this year.
It will be interesting to see what impact unusual weather this spring, including snow in May, had on area hay production according Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
“The best way to analyze the weather factor is to test the hay. While you’re testing it you might as well enter it in the Ozark Empire Fair Hay Show,” said Cole.
The OEF show is designed to educate hay growers on the merits of testing forages. In addition, marketing of hay can be made easier when test results are known.
“Those entering the show have found it aids in the marketing process,” said Cole.
Requirements for entering the OEF hay show are as follows: Hay must be harvested in Missouri during 2013; both small, rectangular and large hay packages are accepted; no more than one entry per field per cutting will be accepted; entry deadline is July 10.
Entry forms are available at University of Missouri Extension Centers. Forms can also be obtained online at www.ozarkempirefair.com and under the “agriculture” link on the Greene County Extension website at http://extension.missouri.edu/greene.
Extension specialists will arrange to collect the samples no later than July 15. An entry fee of $20 per sample is charged.
Samples are tested at Custom Laboratory Inc., Golden City. Test results will show crude protein, moisture level, energy expressed as total digestible nutrients (TDN) or net energy. A qualitative test will be run for nitrate. The test will be 60 percent of the final score.
The final evaluation of the hay will be done on July 25 at the Ozark Empire Fair. A judge will rate the entries on condition, purity, aroma and color, which makes up 40 percent of the final score.
“Consider having your hay sampled and tested. It can save supplement feed dollars and give you a better idea of what supplemental feed to purchase,” said Cole.
For more information, contact any of these MU Extension agronomy specialists in southwest Missouri: Tim Schnakenberg in Stone County, (417) 357-6812; Jill Scheidt in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; John Hobbs in McDonald County, (417) 223-4775 or Brie Menjoulet in Hickory County, (417) 745-6767.