Read the current Progressive Forage digital edition

High quality hay from Ozark fields showcased at Ozark Empire Fair

University of Missouri Extension Published on 07 August 2012
Jim Stine

The 2012 Ozark Empire Fair (OEF) Hay Show saw record quality hay in the legume and grass/legume classes.

The cool season and warm season grass classes posted Relative Feed Value (RFV) average scores that were exceeded only two times in the show dating back to 1985.

Jim Stine of Clever, a long-time entrant and winner of shows in the past, served as judge this year.

“I’m surprised how good the hay is this year," said Stine. "The alfalfa class and both grass classes are the best I can remember seeing. The hay all smelled great with no moldiness.”

The high quality is attributed to an earlier-than-normal season with dry weather that allowed farmers to harvest hay in April and very early May. Some entered third cuttings which typically is difficult to do at the OEF.

The grand champion hay was entered by Glenn and Toni Obermann of Monett. Their alfalfa entry was cut June 12 and had a 230 RFV. The RFV makes up 60 percent of the final index in the show. The RFV combines the acid and neutral detergent values.

Hay winners

The Obermanns are no strangers to the winners' circle as they were Ozark Empire Fair champs in 2010, reserve champions in 2011 and State Fair champions in 2011.

David Tiller of Walnut Grove claimed the reserve champion rosette with an alfalfa/orchardgrass mix that had a 175 RFV. 

Other class winners were: 

  • Cool season grass: Mark Fellwock of Monett with fescue, second cutting – RFV 110

  • Warm season grass: Tom Burdess of Cassville with third cutting Bermuda – RFV 103

  • Big round bale category: Fellwock won the legume and summer/winter annual class with respective RFV’s of 189 (alfalfa) and 91 (sorghum/sudan)

  • Cool season grass, big bale class: Kevin Dotson of Billings with an 81 RFV fescue, cut May 8

  • Alfalfa/orchardgrass: Raymond Garbee of Billings with a 117 RFV entry

“The downside of the impressive hay quality display is that most farmers have seen lower yields this year due to the dry weather," said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

"The exhibitors indicated they would probably need all the hay they produced for their own cattle. A few will have hay to sell, but for a premium price.”

The Ozark Empire Fair Hay Show is a joint effort of the fair, University of Missouri Extension, Custom Laboratory, Inc. Golden City, Marshfield Machinery, Marshfield and S & H Farm Supply, Lockwood and Springfield.  FG

—From University of Missouri Extension news release

TOP: Jim Stine studies the paperwork and the hay as he evaluates the 44 entries in the show.

MIDDLE: Glenn and Toni Obermann’s first place alfalfa and grand champion at the Ozark Empire Fair. Photos courtesy of University of Missouri Extension.