Tulare, Calif. - A total of $18,000 in prizes was awarded today at World Ag Expo to the winners of the 2011 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge, presented by Mycogen Seeds.
Finalists were chosen out of 37 entries from nine Western states that entered the challenge.
The competition challenged farmers and ranchers to enter the bounty of their labors to see who produced the highest-quality forages in the West.
Samples of the finalists' alfalfa hay and corn silage entries are on display in World Ag Expo's New Product Center on "Q" St. and Expo Lane during the Expo. Attendees also can attend seminars to learn more about forage production.
"We salute the winners and finalists for their dedication to high-quality forage production,” said Greg Cannon, silage marketing specialist at Mycogen Seeds. “As presenting sponsor of the World Ag Expo Forage Challenge, Mycogen Seeds is pleased to have the opportunity to recognize these growers and provide information to help improve forage quality throughout the West."
Lallemand Animal Nutrition North America sponsored the $18,000 in contest awards and prizes.
First place winners in all three categories received $3,000, while second place winners were awarded $2,000 and third place winners $1,000.
"Forages are a major component of all dairy rations and producing high-quality preserved forages is therefore a major key to ensuring profitability, said Robert Charley, PhD, Forage Products Manager, Lallemand Animal Nutrition, North America.
"Our participation in, and support of, the Forage Challenge at World Ag Expo is a key part of our efforts to help spread awareness of these key facts,” Charley said. “In addition, Lallemand Animal Nutrition sales and technical support staff and distribution partners work closely with producers to help improve forage management and ensure maximum quality of their forage stocks. We hope to see the Forage Challenge grow to become a major event that will provide a focal point to truly challenge producers to achieve top quality in all their preserved forages. "
Following are the winners of the 2011 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge:
Alfalfa Hay Winners
1st Place - Lazy 2K Livestock, Kellie Hinman, Wheatland, Wyo.
2nd Place - Hardrock Farms, David Hinman, Wheatland, Wyo.
3rd Place - Roberti Ranch, Dave Roberti, Loyalton, Calif.
Corn Silage Winners
1st Place - Royal Turf Farms, Kelly Callahan, Royal City, Wash.
2nd Place - Weststeyn Dairy, Bert Weststeyn, Willows, Calif.
3rd Place - Rancho Teresita Dairy, Case Kasbergen Tulare, Calif.
Brown Mid-Rib (BMR) Corn Silage Winners
1st Place - Tony Borba Dairy, Tony Borba, Jr., Escalon, Calif.
2nd Place - Barreto & Silveira, Jared Silveira, Hanford, Calif.
3rd Place - Rynsburger Dairy, John Martin, Strathmore, Calif.
Farmers and ranchers from 11 western states were invited to enter the competition. Entries were judged in three categories: alfalfa hay, standard corn silage and brown mid-rib (BMR) corn silage. Cash prizes were awarded based on forage lab analyses, along with a visual evaluation of the entries by experts in dairy nutrition and forage production.
"High-quality forage is an important tool in our agriculturalist's toolbox," says Lee Coito, 2011 World Ag Expo Chairman. "This challenge not only provides a competitive venue for our growers, but also provides an educational forum for those interested in learning how to grow higher quality forages."
The 44th annual World Ag Expo, Tools for Agri-Business, will run Feb. 8-10 at the International Agri-Center show grounds in Tulare, Calif. An estimated 100,000 visitors from 72 countries are expected to attend World Ag Expo. The expo is the largest annual agricultural show of its kind with 1,500 exhibitors displaying cutting-edge agricultural technology and equipment on 2.6 million square feet of show grounds.