Winners of this year’s Southeastern Hay Contest were announced on Tuesday, Oct. 18, the first day of the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo held in Moultrie, Georgia.This year, 269 entries vied for the top spot, the prize for which is $1,000 cash and the use of a new Massey Ferguson RK Series Rotary Rake or DM Series Professional Disc Mower for the 2017 growing season.The grand prizewinner was Bohlen and Son Farms, from Madison, Georgia. Bohlen and Son Farms posted a relative forage quality, or RFQ, score of 254.“The Southeastern Hay Contest is an event that allows producers in the Southeastern United States the opportunity to showcase their high-quality hay. The contest is divided into nine different categories, which allows us to recognize a wide range of growers,” said Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension forage specialist.This year’s categories include warm-season perennial grass hay, alfalfa hay, perennial peanut hay, cool-season perennial grass hay, mixed annual grass or other hays, grass baleage, legume baleage and high-moisture legume or grass/legume mix. High-moisture grass hay is another category, but it did not have any entries this year.This year’s winners include:Warm-season perennial grass hay – 107 entriesFarm City State RFQBacon’s Fields, Dudley, Georgia: 175Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Farm Beef Unit, Tifton, Georgia: 157 Horace Pippin, Thomaston, Georgia: 154Alfalfa hay – 16 entriesFarm City State RFQBohlen and Son Farm, Madison, Georgia: 254Mountain Side Farm, Taylorsville, North Carolina: 250Bill Conrad, Malone, Florida: 238Perennial peanut hay – two entriesFarm City State RFQStoltzfus Farms, Blountstown, Florida: 168Basford Farms, Grand Ridge, Florida: 155Cool-season perennial grass hay – 33 entriesFarm City State RFQEddie Wilson, LaFayette, Georgia: 162Randall Selman, Armuchee, Georgia: 149J and B Farms, Lyerly, Georgia: 140Mixed annual grass or other hays – 44 entriesFarm City State RFQBohlen and Son Farm, Madison, Georgia: 232Bohlen and Son Farm, Madison, Georgia: 180Bammann Hay and Trucking Inc., Aubrey, Texas: 175Grass baleage – 52 entriesFarm City State RFQWalters Farm, Thomaston, Georgia: 216Ernie Cooper, Lavonia, Georgia: 216Yon Family Farms, Ridge Spring, South Carolina: 216Legume baleage – 12 entriesFarm City State RFQMarcus South, Thomaston, Georgia: 223Marcus South, Thomaston, Georgia: 201Marcus South, Thomaston, Georgia: 198High-moisture legume or grass/legume mix – three entriesFarm City State RFQGrubb Grass, Comer, Georgia: 238Castleberry Farms, Gainesville, Georgia: 210Grubb Grass, Comer, Georgia: 195“This was another challenging year for forage growers in the Southeast. Extreme drought in Alabama and Georgia reduced quantity, but the quality of what was grown was generally good. In other areas, frequent rainfall, especially early in the season, increased yields, but delayed hay and baleage harvests, lowering forage quality,” Hancock said. The three highest entries in each category received cash prizes – $125 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third.