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Hay show has extremes

Eldon Cole Published on 05 August 2011

The 2011 Ozark Empire Fair Hay Show, in Springfield, Missouri, had the least entries since the show began in 1985. A very wet, cool May, followed by a unusually dry June and July were the main causes for not entering by southwest Missouri farmers.

In spite of adverse weather, the show saw some of the highest quality values on energy values and relative feed values (RFV). The Grand Champion ribbon was claimed by Ron Kahl of Reeds on a straight alfalfa entry. (See end of article for photo slideshow of the event)

It was cut on June 13 and had a RFV 268, total digestible nutrients (TDN) were 74.6 percent and crude protein (CP) of 25.6 percent. This was Kahl’s first championship at the OEF.

The defending champion from last year’s OEF and Missouri State Fair, Glenn and Toni Obermann, Monett had another strong alfalfa entry in class I which was given the nod for Reserve Grand Champion. Their alfalfa had a 225 TFV, 73.1 percent TDN and 25.4 percent CP.  It was harvested on July 5.

In contrast to the top RFV, TDN hay there were some not so high in the show. RFVs in the 70’s and TDN values in the low 50s were also recorded. That’s the beauty of the show as it has made farmers more aware of the vast differences in hay merit.

In addition it has served as an excellent way to advertise and market hay. Unfortunately, this year’s weather had reduced the available hay to market from the area. One farmer quipped that the 10 bales sampled for the show were the only hay he harvested off of 10 acres.

The final index used in rating the various hay entries is based on 60 percent for RFV and 40 percent subjective evaluation which this year was done by Allen Trantham, a Willard dairyman known for producing quality hay.

The hay show is sponsored by Marshfield Machinery, Marshfield; Conco Quarries, Springfield; S & H Farm Supply, Lockwood and Springfield; and Green Seed Company, Springfield.

All laboratory work is done by Custom Lab, Golden City, Missouri. University of Missouri Extension specialists collect the samples and provides the educational material for the show.

Complete details of the show may be accessed at: and follow the OEF Hay Show link.  FG


Eldon Cole
Livestock Specialist
University of Missouri

Photo 1: Judge Allan Trantham gives subjective scores to an entry.

Photo 2: Smell is included in the judge's evaluation of even the large hay packages.

Photo 3: Allan compares the subjective qualities and the lab results as he decides on the Champion and Reserve placings.

Photo 4: The judge and the extension crew Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist on his right and Andy McCorkill, livestock assistant on his left admire the top two entries.

Photo 5: Ozark Empire Fair Hay Show Display. Photos by Eldon Cole.