Know what you grow before you feed it or sell it. Contact your local county extension office to make an appointment to have your hay or baleage tested. Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS


July rains have boosted grass growth for hay or baleage production across the Southeast.  Don’t forget to have your hay or baleage tested for quality.  For $22/sample, you can get a full forage quality report and also enter the 2022 Southeast Hay Contest.  Contest entries must be received by lab no later than Thursday, September 1, 2022 (not post-marked by 9/1/22).  This is a great way to know how good your hay is for your own use or for the customers who purchase it.  It is also a means to be recognized as one of the top hay or baleage producers in the Southeast, at the Sunbelt Ag Expo, in Moultrie, Georgia. 

SE Hay Contest Entry Sample

Sample forage quality report. Click to enlarge for easier viewing.

Through the forage quality report you will receive:

  • Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) index.
  • Crude Protein
  • Fiber digestibility
  • Total Digestible nutrients (TDN)
  • Moisture/Dry matter percentage
  • Nitrate level


Hay and baleage contest entries will be compared based by their RFQ index in one of the seven categories:

  1. Warm Season Perennial Grass Hay (Bermudagrass, bahiagrass, etc.)
  2. Alfalfa Hay
  3. Perennial Peanut Hay
  4. Cool Season Perennial Grass Hay (Tall Fescue, Orchardgrass, etc.)
  5. Mixed, Annual Grass, or Other Hay (Legume/Grass mixtures, millet, crabgrass, ryegrass, etc.)
  6. Grass Baleage (High moisture grass forage ensiled in wrapped bales)
  7. Legume Baleage (High moisture legume or grass/legume forage ensiled in wrapped bales)


  • Top three entries in each category will receive cash prizes
    • 1st place: $250
    • 2nd place: $200
    • 3rd place: $100
  • Grand prize winner (overall highest RFQ) will receive the choice of the use of a new Massey Ferguson RK Series rotary rake or a new Massey Ferguson DM Series Professional disc mower for the 2023 hay production season AND $1000 cash!

Rules and Entry Information Summary

  1. Must be the grower to submit a sample with your county agent’s signature to verify that you produced the hay
  2. Must submit a complete entry form along with the forage sample in a sealed plastic Ziploc type bag.
  3. Core samples collected from 5-10 bales of hay
  4. Minimum maturity of at least 25 days
  5. Nitrate level at or below 5,000 ppm
  6. Moisture Requirements – Dry hay at or below 18% moisture or Baleage 40-65% moisture


Download the complete rules and entry form using the following link:

2022 Southeast Hay Contest and Official Entry Form


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