The results of the 2014 hay contest are in, and show a marked improvement over 2013, when wet weather caused poor forage conditions across the Southeast. Here is a paragraph from the contest summary:
2014 Hay contest results show improvement from 2013 due to weather
“Weather is always a major limiting factor when attempting to produce high quality forage. This year, dry conditions in the later half of the growing season caused drought to be a major limitation. Drought stress increased the incidence of high nitrate levels in the forage in 2014. Still, the forage quality was much higher than in 2013, when near daily rainfall greatly limited the SE hay producer’s ability to harvest good quality forage. The average relative forage quality (RFQ) was higher in each category in 2014 compared to last year’s results. Also, the winning entries from each category were far greater in 2014! Good management can make a remarkable improvement in forage quality in both favorable and unfavorable weather conditions.”
You can read the complete results here and a story by Dennis Hancock, UGA, about the results at Growing Georgia.