Drought has been tough on this year's hay crop everywhere, but especially in the Southeast. But despite the challenges, there is still good, quality hay in the Southeast. And the 2012 Southeastern Hay Contest is the best way for you to get the word out about it and increase the value of that hay.
The contest started earlier this spring, but entries will be accepted until Sept. 24. The winners will be announced at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Ga., in October.
You can check the contest rules, entry form and previous years' results here.
"Despite a less than ideal growing season, understatement of the year, we are already getting a lot of great entries. In fact, we received a good number of samples from our cool season crops this year," said Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia forage specialist who helps organize the contest. "Many folks took advantage of a pretty good winter and spring growing season to put up some excellent winter annual baleage and hay. … The recent rains in far south Georgia and north Florida have enabled good growing conditions for our many high-quality hay producers in that region. So, I'm optimistic that we'll have a good turnout."
The contest, he said, is a helpful marketing opportunity for growers. "About all of our winners sell out of hay well before everyone else, and they've been able to demand more for their highly sought after product," he said.