Growers of high quality forage will be rewarded with cash prizes in the 2012 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge, presented by Mycogen Seeds. The competition challenges farmers and ranchers in 11 western states to enter their best alfalfa hay, standard corn silage or brown midrib (BMR) corn silage to honor those who produce the highest-quality forages in the West. Dec. 13 update: The deadline to enter has been extended to Dec. 19.

To enter the 2012 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge, forage growers are encouraged to take samples of their best standard corn silage, BMR corn silage and alfalfa hay grown in 2011.

The contest is administered in part by the University of California – Davis, which coordinates sample testing, contest judging and educates producers about the benefits of producing high quality forages.

"While high yields are very important for profitable hay and silage production, attaining high quality is a close second," says Dan Putnam, UC–Davis forage specialist.

"Hay and forage quality has improved substantially over the past 40 years in major dairy regions, where dairy producers and cash hay producers have discovered the impacts of improved forage quality on milk production."


Up to $18,000 in cash prizes, sponsored by Lallemand Animal Nutrition, will be awarded based on forage lab analyses and a visual evaluation of entries by dairy nutrition and forage production experts.

Cost to enter the 2012 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge is $25 per entry. All forage samples must be submitted to UC – Davis for judging. Entry forms and full contest rules can be found online. The winner of the contest will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at World Ag Expo. PD

—From World Ag Expo news release