TULARE, CALIFORNIA - Calling all hay and corn silage growers! The deadline to enter the World Ag Expo Forage Challenge, presented by Mycogen Seeds is approaching. To be eligible to compete for cash prizes, forage samples must be submitted to University of California-Davis for judging by Dec. 10. Cost to enter the Forage Challenge is $25 per entry. Entry forms and full contest rules can be found at worldagexpo.com/General-Info/Forage-Challenge.htm.

This is the second year that Mycogen Seeds has presented the forage contest at World Ag Expo. "As a company dedicated to development of corn hybrids for silage production, Mycogen Seeds believes strongly in recognizing producers of high quality forages that contribute to successful dairy production," says Greg Cannon, Mycogen Seeds silage marketing specialist.

The challenge is open to farmers and ranchers from 11 western states to enter the bounty of their labor to see who produces the highest-quality forages in the West. Up to $18,000 in awards and prizes sponsored by Lallemand Animal Nutrition will be dispersed to winners in three categories; alfalfa hay, standard corn silage and brown mid-rib (BMR) corn silage. Entries will be judged on forage lab analyses, along with a visual evaluation of the entries by experts in dairy nutrition and forage production. The winners of the contest will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at the Expo.

"I was excited to hear that my alfalfa hay entry won 1st place in the forage challenge. It was great to see Wyoming hay growers do so well in the Forage Challenge," says Kellie Hinman, Lazy 2 Livestock, 2010 alfalfa category winner. "Alfalfa goes through a lot of stages throughout the growing season. The quality of each cutting can change depending on the weather. We try to cut our alfalfa when the quality is at its peak. You also need a little help from Mother Nature to get the very best."

The 2011 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge is open to alfalfa hay and corn silage grown and harvested during 2010. Those judged to be the highest quality will be on display at the 2011 World Ag Expo, Feb. 8 to 11, along with educational displays and seminars where growers can learn more about forage production.

"High-quality forage is an important tool in the agriculturalist's toolbox," says Lee Coito, 2011 World Ag Expo chairman. "This challenge not only provides a competitive venue for our growers, but also provides an educational forum for those interested in learning how to grow higher quality forages."

The 44th annual World Ag Expo 2011, Tools for Agri-Business, will run February 8–10 at the International Agri-Center show grounds in Tulare, Calif. Online attendee registration is now available at worldagexpo.com.

SOURCE: World Ag Expo