Wyoming family scores big in World Forage Superbowl
SHOREVIEW, MN - For the sixth time in seven years, Wheatland, Wyoming, father-and-daughter alfalfa growers David Hinman and Kellie Hinman took top honors in the 2017 World Forage Analysis Superbowl competition, taking first and third place, respectively, in the Commercial Hay Division.
Held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo, the contest compares forage samples from across North America with laboratory and visual analyses. Judges evaluated a record-breaking 1,066 entries in this year’s competition.
David Hinman operates Hardrock Farms with his wife, Teri. Their daughter Kellie Hinman runs Lazy 2K Livestock. Both top-performing entries showcased NEXGROW® alfalfa variety 6422Q.
“We grow 6422Q because it is a long-lasting variety and a tremendous performer in our conditions year in and year out,” David Hinman said. He grows approximately 1,000 acres of irrigated alfalfa in southeast Wyoming at an altitude of 5,250 feet with dry, windy conditions. “We can leave it in the field for several years. It helps gives us a good, thick stand with fine stems and it helps to handle weed pressure really well. We entered the fourth cutting in this year’s contest and the leaves were huge. Three leaves filled the palm of my hand.”
Many of Hinman’s alfalfa customers are dairy goat farmers. He explained that 6422Q helps provide the reliable premium forage those alfalfa buyers demand to feed their dairy goats and then produce high-quality mild cheeses and other unique products. “They hand-feed alfalfa at their goat dairies, so they are very particular about the leaf being on the stems and don’t want any waste. And when we ship hay 850 miles, we want the quality to be good, with no bad bales — 6422Q helps fit the bill.”
As far as best management practices the winners use to produce high-quality alfalfa, Hinman said the popular adage “patience is a virtue” should be followed. “My best advice to other alfalfa producers is to not be in a hurry. Even when there is no dew, some farmers get impatient and want it baled and off the field. Alfalfa baled dry is simply harder to market, so if there isn’t any dew or humidity, we let it lay another day or longer to help us get a premium price potential for our crop.”
Check here for a complete list of 2017 World Forage Analysis Superbowl winners. For more information about NEXGROW® alfalfa, visit plantnexgrow.com.