AgXpo features forageWritten by Christy Hemken
The forage seminars will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21 through 23, with each day focusing on different production sectors.
On Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. Don Miller and Tom Miles from Producers Choice seeds will present information related to plant observation and replanting guidelines for alfalfa and grasses. Scott Keith of the Wyoming Business Council says they will also conduct a demonstration. “They’ll have the plants laid out to look at the roots so people can see the plant itself and how to tell when the plant needs to be replaced,” he says.
On Nov. 22 at 2:30 p.m. Steve McDonnell with Circle West Seeds will share a presentation along with UW Extension Livestock Specialist Scott Lake on small rumen forage requirements, and harvesting forages specifically to meet those requirements.
On Nov. 23 McDonnell will give another presentation related to horse nutrition.
The first forage contest relates to production, and Keith says producers from all over the state can enter small bales of hay or samples of larger bales. Samples must be received in Casper by noon on Nov. 20.
Three classes in the contest will be judged based on forage value. The three classes are alfalfa with less than 20 percent grass, grass hay with less than 20 percent alfalfa and mixed hay with higher than 20 percent but lower than 80 percent alfalfa. Producers can enter as many samples as they would like and the first sample entry is free, but every following sample will cost $15 to cover the forage analysis and shipping.
Keith says collection sites will be set up around the state, where entry forms will be available and producers can drop off their samples to be delivered to Casper by deadline. “If a forage producer is interested in entering they need to connect with their county extension agent, call me or check the website for the locations where hay can be dropped off,” says Keith.
The second forage contest is the AgXpo Forage Quality Contest, consisting of several bales of hay available for evaluation. “This is the opportunity for the general public to participate,” says Keith. “People will have the opportunity to estimate crude protein, total digestible nutrients and the relative feed value of each.”
Hay industry representatives will be present to give parameters so people can make an educated guess, says Keith. There will be awards for the closest estimate on each of the different forages, and an overall award on who’s closest on all of them collectively.
The Forage Quality Contest will run from noon on Nov. 21 until Nov. 23 at 4 p.m. Results from the Forage Production Contest will be announced Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. following the first forage presentation.
In addition to the seminars and contests there will be vendors in the trade show from the hay, seed and fertilizer industries.
“For hay producers this is a great place to make some contacts with potential customers because of the people in the cattle, sheep and horse industries who will be there for the rest of the trade show,” says Keith.