Rock River
Laboratory, INC.

Mixed hay drying in the sun OHIO BEEF FORAGE CONTEST

Is your forage the best in the east?

Enter the Ohio Beef Forage Contest* and find out! The three best quality forages in each contest category (alfalfa hay, grass hay, and mixed hay) will be awarded exciting prizes! Learn more in the Frequently Asked Questions and Contest Rules outlined and linked below. 

*Sponsored by ADM and ISF; Samples analyzed by Rock River Laboratory, Inc. 

Download the official entry form here.

2018 Ohio Beef Forage Contest Rules

1. This contest is open to any hay producer from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania or West Virginia.  Entries must be submitted by the farm where the forage was grown.

2. Categories for the contest are a) alfalfa hay; b) grass hay and c) mixed hay (alfalfa/grass).  For mixed hay, please list the approximate alfalfa content of the mix.

3. Hay sample, entry form, and entry fee payment ($12/sample) must be received by Rock River Laboratory (Wooster, OH location) by February 16, 2018.  Contest samples received without the Ohio Beef Forage Contest entry form will not be included in the contest. 

4. The entry fee includes the “NDF Digestibility” test package from Rock River Laboratory.  Specific information on the tests included in this package can be found on Rock River’s web site (  All participants will receive a copy of the complete analysis report of their sample(s).

5. Producers may submit up to three samples; however, each sample must be taken from a different lot of hay and from a minimum of 5 bales within that lot.  A lot is defined as the forage harvested within one day from one field and/or from a specific variety/hybrid.  For information on appropriate hay sampling procedures please refer to the National Forage Association’s guide entitled “Recommended Principles for Proper Hay Sampling”, available on their web site (  A separate entry form and entry fee must be submitted for each sample.

6. Samples must be taken using a hay probe type as recommended by the National Forage Testing Association.  Core samples should be submitted for testing in a pint or quart sized zip-type bag.

7. Samples must be taken from fields with a minimum maturity or re-growth of at least 25 days to ensure fair competition.

8. Dry hay samples with moisture content over 18% will not be accepted; however, hay treated with a preservative will be accepted as long as the checkbox on the entry form indicates a preservative was used and the moisture content of the sample is under 25%.

9. Prizes will be awarded to the top three hay samples in each category.  Producers who place within the top 3 will only be eligible for the highest place they qualify for – producers may not claim multiple places within a category.  Samples will be judged based on Relative Forage Quality (RFQ).  In the case of a tie, the sample with the highest Total Digestible Nutrient (TDN) will receive the higher placement. 

Ohio Beef Forage Contest Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What placings get prizes? What are the prizes?

A: The top three quality forages in each category (See contest rules for categories) will receive a prize:

  • First place in each category will receive a $100 gift certificate that can be used towards any ADM products. [Prize sponsored by ADM.]
  • Second place in each category will receive a $75 gift certificate that can be used towards any feedstuff analysis from Rock River Laboratory. [Prize sponsored by Rock River Laboratory.]
  • Third place in each category will receive a Yeti Tumbler. [Prize sponsored by ISF.]


Q: How do I take a sample for this contest?

A: Contest participants should refer to the National Forage Association’s guide entitled “Recommended Principles for Proper Hay Sampling”, available on their website ( Samples must be taken using a hay probe type as recommended by the National Forage Testing Association and put in a plastic bag. [Review Contest Rules for further details]


Q: How do I get my sample to the lab for analysis?

A: Contest entry samples should be shipped to or dropped off at Rock River Laboratory-Ohio, along with a completed copy of the official Ohio Beef Forage Contest entry form, and the entry fee payment:

7859 E Lincoln Way (Physical)

Apple Creek, OH 44606


PO Box 1039 (Mailing)

Wooster, OH 44691

Phone: 330-462-6041

Shipped samples can be sent via the United State Postal Service (USPS), or any shipping couriers such as FedEx, UPS, or SpeeDee Delivery.

All samples need to physically be in the Rock River Laboratory-Ohio office by February 16th, 2018. Samples postmarked, but not received by the deadline will not be entered in the contest.

Q: When and how will I receive my forage sample analysis results?

A: Analysis results reports can be picked up at the ADM booth during Ohio Beef Expo, March 16-18 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. [See Ohio Beef Expo program for booth location.]


Q: How will I find out if my forage placed in the contest?

A: Winning entries (top three in each category) will be announced at Ohio Beef Expo via press release and official placings list available at the ADM booth at Ohio Beef Expo and at Winners who do not attend Ohio Beef Expo will have their prizes shipped to them after the event. 


Q: Can I get further interpretation of my forage sample analysis report?

A: Participants looking for further incites on their contest samples’ analysis are invited to bring questions to the experts at the Rock River Laboratory booth at Ohio Beef Expo [See Ohio Beef Expo program for exact booth location].

Rock River Laboratory

Founded in 1976, Rock River Laboratory is a family-owned laboratory network that provides production assistance to the agricultural industry through the use of advanced diagnostic systems, progressive techniques, and research-supported analyses.  Employing a team of top specialists in their respective fields, Rock River Laboratory provides accurate, cost-effective, and timely analytical results to customers worldwide, while featuring unsurpassed customer service.

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