Monday, August 11, 2014

Entries in Ozark Empire Fair Hay Decrease but Relative Feed Value of Entries is Highest in the History of the Show

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Headquartered in Lawrence County
Tel: (417) 466-3102

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- This year’s hay show at the Ozark Empire Fair had the least number of entries since the beginning of the show in 1985.  Weather was to blame according to most of the farmers.

“Extra cool weather in April and early May followed by abundant rain without a window to allow hay to cure made haying this Spring a serious challenge,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

In spite of poor weather conditions, some entrants found a way to produce high-quality hay.

Mike Coble of Aldrich walked away with the Grand Champion ribbon on his July 3 cutting of alfalfa.  His victory was made possible by a combination of a 223 Relative Feed Value (RFV) and a subjective score of 39 out of 40 possible points.

The RFV scores were based on laboratory analysis that involves the acid detergent and neutral detergent fiber portions of the plant.  Those fiber values increase as the plant matures.  Protein content is not considered in RFV computations.

Coble’s winning entry had an impressive 24.3 percent crude protein and a whopping, 72.7 percent total digestible nutrient (TDN) level on a dry matter basis.  The alfalfa entries were the largest class in the show.

The averages of the ten alfalfas were:  195 RFV; 68 percent TDN and 22.5 percent Crude Protein.  The RFV average was the highest in the history of the show. The previous high average was in 2012 when 16 entries had an average of 182.

The Reserve Grand Champion ribbon was somewhat of a surprise. The judge, Dr. Ben Fuqua, a retired Missouri State professor of agriculture, selected Josh Biglieni’s second cutting of fescue.

Josh is from Stotts City, and the hay was Kentucky 31, cut on June 16.  It had a 109 RFV, 60 percent TDN and protein level of 17 percent.  The standout feature was the subjective score of a perfect 40.  That was based on aroma, color, purity, shape and condition.

“The judge and extension faculty helping with the show said they’d never seen any fescue that good,” said Cole.

Other class winners were Jack Gilliam, LaRussell with a Bermuda grass entry.  John Martin Oczkus, Aurora took the blue ribbon in the grass-legume class with a red clover, fescue, orchardgrass mix.  Doug Glossip, Highlandville won the summer-winter annual grass class with a Foragemaster wheat entry.

Taking the blue ribbon in the large round bale classes were Duncan Smith of Mountain Grove with a fescue entry.  Randy Jenkins of Seymour easily won the large bale, grass-legume class with a fescue, orchardgrass and red clover mix.

Complete lab results are available by contacting southwest Missouri extension centers.  It is also posted online at

The show is an educational effort by University of Missouri Extension, Custom Lab, Golden City and the Ozark Empire Fair.


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