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Got Good Hay?

With some of the worst weather in memory, the 2011 Western Washington hay season was very short and not at all sweet. Livestock owners are already feeling the pinch with prices commanding a late-season premium and qualities that can only be described as “all over the place.” To help ensure your livestock receive adequate nutrition, it’s important to be able to assess baled hay quality. Join us November 16 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in McCollum Park at WSU Snohomish County Extension’s Cougar Auditorium, 600 128th St. SE, Everett, for a hands-on workshop on evaluating the quality of the hay you feed your livestock.

Forage expert Steve Fransen (right) explains the fine points of judging quality hay to Andrew Corbin during hay juding at the Evergreen Fair. Photo: Kate Halstead, WSU Snohomish County Extension.
Forage expert Steve Fransen (right) explains the fine points of judging quality hay to Andrew Corbin during hay juding at the Evergreen Fair. Photo: Kate Halstead, WSU Snohomish County Extension.

WSU’s Forage Agronomist Steve Fransen has been researching forage and crop quality for over 25 years. He has authored numerous publications on grassland and pasture management and is known throughout the region as the ‘go-to’ person on hay and hayland management techniques. He literally wrote the book—along with Mike Hackett—on Western Washington haymaking, publishing “Haymaking on the Westside” in 2001. Each summer and fall, Steve makes the rounds to many county fairs throughout Washington and Oregon to judge hay contests, thoroughly inspecting each entry and sharing with his audience exactly what goes into a blue ribbon bale of hay.

We encourage you to bring a bale of your current hay to add to the variety Steve will be helping us  evaluate. The early bird cost  is $15/person through Nov. 15 or $20/person payable at the door. Register online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/209208. You can also download the form at snohomish.wsu.edu  and mail with your check. For registration information, contact Karie Christensen at (425) 357-6039 or e-mail christensen4@wsu.edu.

For more information on the course, contact Andrew Corbin, corbina@wsu.edu, (425) 357-6012.