Entries being accepted for Ozark Empire Fair Hay Show
Entries are now being accepted for the 2012 Ozark Empire Fair Hay Show. The entry deadline is July 10 and entry forms are available online at www.ozarkempirefair.com or at the nearest University of Missouri Extension center.
Eligible hay must be raised in Missouri and harvested in 2012. Both, small rectangular and large round packages are eligible to enter. High moisture or haylage entries are not eligible at the Ozark Empire Fair, but may be entered in the Missouri State Fair.
Those two fairs, along with University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Department of Agriculture cooperate on sampling and organizing the hay shows.
The OEF entry fee is $20 per lot of hay. A minimum of 10 small bales and 5 large packages must be core sampled.
"Notify your nearest Extension center of your interest and a specialist will come to your farm and sample the hay and send it to the Custom Lab at Golden City for analysis," said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension and coordinator of the hay show.
The top hays, based on Relative Feed Value, qualify to be exhibited at the fair.
"A lot of hay has been put up in late April and May thus the quality should be better than usual. However, even though it was baled earlier than usual, the relative stage of maturity may be about the same. It will be educational to see how the test data compares," said Cole.
According to Cole, the hay show was developed not to have huge amounts of prizes, but to educate growers, livestock and dairy producers on the value differences in hay.
"The hay is exhibited and news media carries the results so there can be a very valuable amount of advertising gained by entering the show," said Cole.
The hay is judged based on 60 percent, from the lab test results (RFV) and 40 percent from the subjective evaluation by the judge. The judge considers condition, color, aroma and purity.