A quality hay contest will be just one of the features at the free 2003 Illinois Forage Expo, July 1 at the north edge of Macomb. The center of operations will be the Western Illinois University (WIU) Livestock Center, located 1 mile west of Route 67 on Tower Road (N1400) at the intersection of Tower Road and Wigwam Hollow.
Entries in the quality hay contest will be evaluated for bale density, visual assessment, crude protein, acid detergent fiber, and relative feed value. There is no entry fee, and NIRS analysis will be conducted free of charge. Participants may enter one sample (complete bale) in each of the following classes: alfalfa, grass, alfalfa-grass, and other (clover, clover-grass, etc.). A sample entry is a complete bale, such as a small square, large square, or large round, made from the 2003 hay crop. Bales exceeding 100 pounds need to be weighed on official scales and a weigh ticket provided for verification. Bale entries must be delivered to the Expo site by 10:30 a.m. on July 1 to allow adequate time for sampling, analyzing, and judging.
The Expo will include tours/discussions of WIU's livestock grazing research plots and forage species plot and other educational presentations. Presenters will include WIU staff, U of I Extension educators, and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff. The Expo will focus on forages for both grazing and harvesting systems. There will be field demonstrations of forage harvesting equipment and commercial displays of forage-related products and equipment as well as a U of I Extension display on poisonous pasture weeds.
The Expo runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Hosts are WIU, the city of Macomb, and Tim Sullivan. Sponsors are WIU, U of I Extension, Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, Western Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Illinois Grassland Conservation Initiative.
For more information about the Expo or about exhibiting a commercial display, contact Dean Oswald, University of Illinois Extension, Macomb Extension Center, (309)836-3366, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.--Dale Baird