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Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members who grow Bermudagrass hay are encouraged to enter the 2019 GFB Quality Hay Contest.

Hay entered in the contest will be tested at a University of Georgia lab using the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) Test, which provides an analysis of the nutritional value of the hay. Winners will be determined by the RFQ analysis.

The deadline to enter is Oct. 31.

Winners will be announced in December at the annual GFB Convention on Jekyll Island. Prizes will be presented to the top five producers. The first-place winner will receive the free use of a Vermeer TM 1200 Trailed Mower for one year, courtesy of the Vermeer Manufacturing Company.

The winner will have the option to purchase the mower at a reduced price at the end of the year.

“If you grow Bermudagrass hay, entering this contest is a great way to get detailed information on its nutritional quality,” said Polk County Farm Bureau President James I. Casey. “Everyone who enters hay samples in this contest will benefit from learning what management adjustments they can make to their hay fields to improve the quality of their hay.”

Contest rules, applications and instructions for submitting samples are available at the Polk County Farm Bureau office or may be downloaded at www.gfb.ag/HayContest. All hay entered must have been grown in Georgia on a field with at least 25 days of maturity or regrowth.

Hay samples should be naturally dried in the field and taken from the center of at least five different bales (rolls or squares) that come from the same field.

There is a $20 entry fee for each sample entered in the contest to cover the cost of the lab analysis. Hay producers may enter more than one sample and will receive RFQ analysis for all samples submitted.

Contestants submitting multiple samples, however, may only place in the contest’s top five for the sample with the highest RFQ score.

Checks to cover the entry fee should be made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau. Entry fees, forms and samples should be sent to the GFB Public Policy Department 1620 Bass Road Macon, Ga., 31210. Entry fees, forms and samples may also be taken to your county Farm Bureau office.

Previous first-place winners of the GFB Hay Contest may enter their samples for the purpose of having them officially analyzed but are not eligible to win any prizes in the contest for three years after winning.

GFB is also accepting listings for its online hay directory.

Farm Bureau members with hay for sale or who offer custom harvesting or custom sprigging services are invited to list their hay and/or services in the GFB Quality Hay Directory published on the GFB website.

Hay for sale or services can be listed or removed from the directory throughout the year.

To participate, complete a submission form by visiting your county Farm Bureau office or online at www.gfb.ag/hay .

Please include a $10 check made payable to Georgia Farm Bureau for each listing of hay, custom harvesting or custom sprigging. Multiple listings are allowed. Hay producers who enter the GFB Quality Hay Contest receive a free listing in the GFB Hay Directory.

Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the state. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors.

GFB offers its members a wide variety of benefits, including insurance, but enrollment in any of the member benefits is optional and not a requirement for membership.

Please call Polk County office for any questions about the contest or directory.