The Oregon Forage and Grasslands Council and the Oregon Hay and Forage Association are combining their outreach efforts and will co-host the Fall Forage Festival.
The two-day event, scheduled for Nov. 16-17 in Corvallis, Ore., is a first. Previously, the two groups held separate annual events.
“This is part of our outreach responsibility,” said Jerome Magnuson, a member of OFGC and the chair of the festival’s organizing committee. “The festival is open to anybody who is interested in the producing side of forages or the feeding side. We want to help educate those people and to help promote the forage industry.”
Greg Mohnen, president of OHFA, said he hopes the event will encourage more western Oregon forage growers to join the association that traditionally has had just central and eastern Oregon members.
“There’s always something to learn and by moving the event around we hope we can reach more people and provide them with more information,” said Mohnen who manages the McGinnis Ranch near Bend, Ore.
The Friday, Nov. 16 schedule will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. in Guerber Hall at the Benton County Fairgrounds. There will be a $30 fee which will include lunch.
Several speakers will follow between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Presentations will be about nutrient value of hays, hay storage and its impact on quality, matching hay to livestock, coping with drought, current research and resources in the Pacific Northwest.
Presenters will include Glenn Shewmaker, a University of Idaho Extension forage specialist; Steve Norberg, a Washington State University Extension forage specialist; Mylen Bohle, an Oregon State University forage specialist; and Jon Driver of Farm Credit Services. Shewmaker will discuss changes in forage quality during storage, Norberg will present new ways to look at forage and hay quality and Driver will talk about the hay market, exports and impacts on the market.
A roundtable discussion with hay growers talking about the issues they face in growing forages is also scheduled.
The main activity on Saturday, Nov. 17 will be the Hay King Contest. There is no fee to attend this event, which will be held at the Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility on the Oregon State University campus. OSU agricultural students are encouraged to attend.
Two- and three-tie bales and sample flacks from bigger bales will be displayed and judged. The classes will be dairy alfalfa, retail alfalfa, grass, grass/legume mix, cereal, cereal/legume (pea or vetch) mix and timothy.
Hay samples with an entry form and $30 per entry made out to OHFA should be sent to the Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center, 6941 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603-9365, by Nov. 2. The center will do a chemical analysis of each entry, testing it for several quality indicators.
Growers will then bring to Corvallis a bale or a sample from the hay that was analyzed. Judges will pull the hay apart, evaluating it and talking about its feel, smell, color, maturity and the presence of any foreign substances.
“The judges will look at the way a bale is put together,” Magnuson said. “It’s extremely educational for a grower to listen to a professional evaluate a bale of hay. The networking between growers, buyers and users at this time is also valuable.”
More information on the two-day event can be found on the OFGC or OHFA websites or by calling Magnuson at 541-990-5409.