The Dundas Soil and Crop Improvement Association sponsored a local Forage Master Competition to promote excellence in forage management. Ten people registered to participate in the competition. Participants selected to enter hay or haylage and agreed to provide a sample for analysis. The sponsors of the provincial competition are the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association and Novartis Seeds Inc.
A team of judges visited each farm to evaluate the stand of forage for factors such as thickness, freedom from disease, freedom from insects, uniformity of stand, vigour of stand, suitability of the fertility program, variety selected and a soil analysis.
The judges also evaluated the hay or silage storage to score stage of maturity, purity, leaf to stem ratio, color and odor, moisture, condition and length of cut of haylage.
A sample was sent to Agri Food Labs, Guelph for analysis and the final part of the score was the feed value of the sample. Crude Protein, ADF and NDF were used to calculate the feed value.
The Dundas Forage Master is Steven Byvelds from Williamsburg. The runner up is Brian VandenBurg from Winchester.
Other participants were Gary Brugmans, Chesterville; Peter and Jerry Byvelds, Brinston; Robert Byvelds, Williamsburg; Wilmer and Linda Porteous, Winchester; Norm Tinkler, Inkerman; Mellan Brother, Brinston; Sunnylodge Farms Inc., Chesterville.
Thanks to all the forage growers who entered the competition and good luck to Steven Byvelds in the Ontario Forage Master Competition to be held at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in November.
This year the feed value was extremely high indicating that hay was harvested early to ensure good quality forage. The crude protein ranged from 19.5 to 23.9%; ADF ranged from 23.6 to 30.5%; NDF ranged from 36.4 to 45.5%. The majority of samples fit into the recommended rule of 20% crude protein, 30% ADF and 40% NDF.