During the prime haymaking month of May, lots of rain and cooler than normal temperatures played a role in the somewhat lower quantity and quality of hay in the 2013 Ozark Empire Fair Hay Show.
"Only 25 hay entries were made. The lab results supported the lower quality concern with the relative feed values (RFV) coming in lower than usual. The lower RFV was noteworthy in the legume and cool season grass classes," said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
In spite of lower RFV a third-cutting alfalfa entry from Glenn and Toni Obermann, Monett claimed the champion purple rosette. This was the Obermann's third championship in the last four years at the Ozark Empire Fair. Their alfalfa variety was WL355 Roundup Ready with a 183 RFV, 22% crude protein and 66.1% total digestible nutrients.
The reserve champion hay came from John Staiger, Billings who has had four champion hays during the history of the show dating back to 1985. Staigers entry was alfalfa-orchardgrass with a RFV of 135.
The judge of the show, Byron Stine, Clever scored Staiger's entry a near-perfect 39 of 40 points in the subjective evaluation.
Stine, a three-time winner at the show, was high in his praise for several of the top entries.
"He quipped that an oat hay entry from Corlett Farms, Willard should be awarded an honorable mention in the champion selection for its subjective merits as it scored a 38," said Cole.
Small grain hays are fairly rare at the show as the winners typically are alfalfa or alfalfa-orchardgrass mixes. In the 29 past shows, only two champions were other than those types of hay.
Other class winners at this year's show were: Austin Sterling Bridwell, Rogersville, cool season grass; Gene Cowherd, Purdy, alfalfa large package; Fire Sweep Ranch, Verona, cool season grass large package; Frank Hilton, Ozark, grass legume, large package.
The hay show is a joint educational effort of the Ozark Empire Fair, Custom Lab, Golden City and University of Missouri Extension. The value of a lab analysis is stressed with the final placing based 60 percent on that test. The balance of the score comes from the judge's subjective score for color, aroma, purity, shape and condition.
"Participants not only see how their hay stacks up quality-wise, they also find the show extremely valuable in marketing hay, if that's their desire," said Cole.
A complete rundown on the show placings is available here.
Source: MU Extension