Writer: Steve Byrns,(915) 653-4576,email@example.com
SAN ANGELO — Three West Texans were honored here in conjunction with the Texas Forage and Grassland Council’s annual meeting and the State Hay Show this month.
About 80 producers and others involved with the forage industry attended the annual meeting. About 50 4-H and FFA youth participated in forage judging contests. The event was co-sponsored by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service.
The three honorees were Russell Book, a Wall High School senior from Vancourt; Randall Conner, owner of Farmers Seed and Supply in Winters; and David Vinson, operator of Concho Cattle Company near Lowake.
Book won the Council’s 1998 Youth Award for his nine years with the 4-H youth program in Tom Green County. He’s been a member of the countys winning 4-H Plant ID and Range Judging Team since 1995.
Conner won the 1998 Industry Award as a staunch supporter of Extension’s educational efforts relating to small grain and annual forage production. He has coordinated the collection and allocation of seed for Extension’s grazing test plots in West and Central Texas for the past several years as a service to producers.
Vinson was honored with the 1998 West Texas Producer Award for his extensive Extension result demonstration work with forage production, brush control, pasture rotation, and wildlife management. He manages about 4,200 acres including 85 acres of dryland Coastal and 450 acres of irrigated hay fields.
The grand champion of the state hay show was Calvin Curry of Fredericksburg, whose oat hay entry beat out 120 other entries. Curry’s entry had a crude protein measurement of 26.7 percent. Reserve Champion honors went to Ronald Beamsley of Pharr. His ryegrass entry’s crude protein was 28.9 percent.
“It’s been a poor year for Texas hay production, but the quality of entries in this year’s hay show was higher than usual,” said Dr. David Bade, Extension forage specialist at College Station.
“It’s not that uncommon. We often see forage quality go up in a dry year. That’s because the hay is not diluted by too much water or contaminated by too many weeds. Growers can harvest their crop at the proper growth stage when they’re not delayed by rain. Dry weather also means hay quality won’t be lowered by being rained on once it’s baled.”
Five of the top hay entries will go to national competition in Omaha, Nebraska during February.