Long-Time Hay Show Participants Are Big Winners With New Hay Evaluation At Ozark Empire Fair

   The 2017 Hay Show at the Ozark Empire Fair featured several firsts compared to the 31 previous shows.
   “Perhaps the most drastic change was the Hay Show relied solely on laboratory results from Custom Laboratory, Golden City to make the class and championship selections,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
   In the first 31 shows, 40 percent of the index was based on a judge's subjective rating for purity, condition, aroma and color. Sixty percent of the index came from lab results for Relative Feeding Value (RFV).
   According to Cole, researchers have developed a system that more accurately projects the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) and incorporates energy and protein into the equation, along with neutral detergent fiber.
   After watching other hay evaluation events in recent years University of Missouri Extension specialists decided to go with an “all numbers” evaluation relying on the RFQ to determine the placings. RFQ is designed to give fully mature alfalfa a RFQ of 100.
   Another move for the hay show at the Ozark Empire Fair was to group all dry hay whether in conventional, rectangular bales, large rounds or large square bales. Then haylage was introduced as a division this year.
   After the numbers were crunched, the winner of the dry hay division was long-time hay show participant Gary Thater from Clever with an alfalfa entry that topped the legume class. It was the highest RFQ hay at 239. His hay had 67.6 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN) and protein (CP) at 24.5 percent. The hay was a second cutting and the variety was Pioneer 54QR04.
   Close behind the champion hay was Byron Stine of Clever, another veteran hay exhibitor, who picked up the reserve ribbon with a RFQ of 234. In third place in the strong legume class were Glenn and Toni Obermann of Monett with a 227 RFQ.
   The cool season grasses were led by Kevin Dotson of Billings with both first and second in the eight-entry class. Dotson’s entries were both Kentucky 31 fescue. The top entry scored 136 RFQ and was a first cutting taken on May 4. Second was a second cutting from a different field harvested on June 14. It had an RFQ of 133 and both were put into large round bales weighing close to 1100 lbs.
   Jack Gilliam of La Russell topped the warm season grass class with a bermuda hay, variety Stampede Plus. It had an RFQ of 127. Rounding out the grass-legume class, the Obermanns picked up first and second with alfalfa-orchardgrass entries with RFQs of 187 and 186,
   Alfalfa haylage entries from the father-son team of Steve and Jared Kleiboeker of Wentworth easily won that class and were awarded the champion and reserve ribbons. Jared’s entry posted a 171 RFQ while Steve’s was 160. Both were harvested on April 25 from different fields. The variety on each was Producers Hybrid 9200 RR.
   The grass-legume haylage class had one entry with College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout winning with a triticale-crimson clover combo harvested April 8. It received a 118 RFQ.
   Wrapping up the show was a cereal rye, MFA Forage Master, entered by Karl Wilke of Mt. Vernon. It had a RFQ of 133, TDN 61.9 percent and the protein was 23.9 percent.
   Several of these top entries will move on to the State Fair at Sedalia. A few will enter a late cutting that was not at the fair in Springfield.
The complete hay show booklet with this year's results along with the historical averages for each year since 1985 is available on-line at:  ∆
MidAmerica Farm Publications, Inc
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