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Hoosier Hay Contest creates a friendly and educational competition among producers

The Indiana Forage Council’s Hoosier Hay Contest begins Saturday, June 1, this year. The friendly competition encourages Indiana producers to cultivate higher quality hay during the 2024 season.

The contest is supported by Purdue University Extension and sponsored by SureTech Laboratories, Hutson Inc., CISCO Seeds, the Indiana Beef Cattle Association, the Indiana Dairy Producers and the Indiana Sheep Association.

The contest has two categories, hay or baleage, and promotes forage production, informs hay producers on the nutritive value of their hay, and encourages producers to sample and test their hay or baleage before feeding it to livestock.

“Sampling and analyzing harvested forages should be the method of determining if the forage is delivering sufficient nutrients to ruminant livestock,” said Nick Minton, Indiana Forage Council director and Purdue Extension beef systems specialist. “The greatest risk of not doing so is assuming that it’s ‘good’ hay when it’s not. Production or performance declines as a result.”

SureTech Laboratories will analyze contestant samples and release the results to the contest organizer, producer, and the producer’s local Purdue Extension agriculture and natural resources educator. The educator and producer will then work together to interpret the analysis and determine how best to use the forage.

Prize money will go to first-, second- and third-place entries in both categories. First place will receive $250 and a one-year Indiana Forage Council membership, and second place and third place will receive $150 and $100, respectively. Winners will be recognized at the annual IFC meeting and on the IFC website.

The cost to participate is $14 per hay sample or $20 per baleage sample, with the contest being limited to 100 samples. Entries must be received by SureTech Labs and the IFC by Sept. 30.

Rules and entry forms can be found online. For more information, contact Minton at 812-279-4330,, or Jason Tower at 812-678-3411,

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