Time is quickly approaching for Smith County forage producers to enter samples into the 2014 hay show that is held in conjunction with the East Texas State Fair.
The Hay Show is an educational event for area forage growers and a means for raising money for youth, conservation activities and scholarships. Producers and youth benefit from this event, which has been the focus of the fair’s Howdy Neighbor Barbecue for the past 30 years. This year’s Hay Show results, auction and Howdy Neighbor Barbecue will be held Sept. 22 at the Harvey Convention Center.
With the recent rains, yields and quality of hay appear to be up from last year. The hay show serves as a great tool for producers to use when planning for their winter feeding needs. Plus, the $3 entry fee per hay sample to enter the hay show is much less than the $10 per sample it would cost to send hay in for testing on your own.
The top scoring bales in total points will be sold at auction during the Howdy Neighbor Barbecue. Proceeds from the auction benefit East Texas State Fair Junior Livestock Show, East Texas Cattle-Ettes Scholarships, and Soil & Water Conservation District programs.
For your $3 per sample, you will receive a placing ribbon for your hay (blue, red, or white), recognition at the hay auction if you have hay that places as one of the top 25 bales, and the nutritional information (crude protein and digestibility) for your hay sample. Submitting hay for the show also earns an invitation to the free hay show wrap-up event in October at Traditions Restaurant.
Hay produced in Smith County, or hay grown by a producer who lives in Smith County, is eligible for entry. A hay entry consists of one square bale of hay from a cutting, or one feed sack full of hay (if the hay from a cutting is rolled into round bales).
Producers who submit more than one hay sample for testing are encouraged to write somewhere on the entry tag (other than in the space marked entry number) a code such as cutting number, field name or something else that will help them be able to correlate their samples back to the results that will be mailed to them following the hay show and sale. It is recommended producers submit samples from each hay field each time it is cut.
Entry dates for this year’s show are Aug. 14 and 15. Hay can be dropped at one of the following locations: Bullard - Circle C Farm & Ranch; Lindale - Fleming Farm Supply; Noonday - Noonday Feed Store; Troup - Steele’s Feed & Seed; Tyler - Winfield Solutions; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Rose Country Equipment; Smith County Extension office; Ag Power, Inc.; and Whitehouse - Whitehouse Farm & Ranch.
For a complete set of rules, call the Smith County Extension office at 903-590-2980 or visit agrilife.org/smithcountyagriculture.
Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status.