The annual East Kentucky Hay Contest had a record number of entries this year. Over 415 samples were submitted from 12 eastern Kentucky counties for nutritive analysis. UK’s Agriculture and Natural Resource Agents in Districts 1 and 2 worked with their local hay producers to secure the samples. The agents gathered the samples then forwarded them to the University’s Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability (RCARS). Once there, staff from RCARS and personnel from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Hay and Forage Testing Program sorted, dried, ground and analyzed the samples for the farmers. The results and an overview of the samples received were announced at the recently concluded East Kentucky Hay School at the RCARS facility.
Photo: Dr. Jimmy Henning
This contest now gives many eastern Kentucky producers a substantial tool to formulate rations for their livestock enterprises for the upcoming winter. Rather than just “guess” at what the quality of their hay is… they now know and can work with their local county agents, nutritionists, feed stores or veterinarians (in preparing those rations) to ensure their livestock are getting the necessary energy and protein necessary to carry them through the feeding season. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has supported this project for many years and without their help, the contest could not be held. Make sure to contact the KDA Forage Testing Program (502-782-9210) or your local county agent if you want your hay tested. ~Tom Keene