The winner of the Southeast Hay Contest was Mountainside Farm of Taylorsville, N.C.
(Submitted photo)

A total of 468 samples comprised the field of entries for the19th annual Southeast Hay Contest at the Sunbelt Ag Expo last week in Moultrie, Ga., making it the largest forage quality contest in the country.

Beeson Farms of Climax, N.C., bested the competition for the second year in a row with alfalfa hay that had the overall highest relative forage quality (RFQ) of 327. Since the farm was ineligible to win the grand prize again, the champion title went to the runner-up, Mountainside Farm in Taylorsville, N.C., for its alfalfa hay with 298 RFQ.

Forage samples across nine categories were ranked based on RFQ, and the top three samples in each category received cash awards (see table below). In addition to $2,000 for the grand prize, Mountainside Farm will also have the choice between a Massey Ferguson DM series disc mower or RK series rotary rake for the 2024 hay production season.

Producers from 13 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma (east of I-35), South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (east of I-35), and Virginia — are eligible to take part in the Southeast Hay Contest. The event is coordinated by extension services at Auburn University, Clemson University, the University of Florida, Virginia Tech, and the University of Georgia. Submissions for the 2024 Southeast Hay Contest are now open.

For more information, visit the contest website.