The best crop produced in Fremont County year in, and year out is hay. Whether its alfalfa, grass or most likely a mix of both, the hay in Fremont County is extraordinary.
“The hay in the county is excellent because of two main factors, it’s dry and we have good irrigation,” County Agent and hay judge Chance Marshall of Lander said. “We can cure hay better, so our climate is perfect.”
In other regions, the rainfall that makes growing crops easy is a detriment to hay production. Hay must be cured carefully to keep mold from forming while retaining enough moisture to remain good animal feed without crumbling to dust when it’s opened.
From Shoshoni to Lander and Riverton to Ft. Washakie the alfalfa fields produce the highest quality hay you can find anywhere in the world.
“We send samples of the entries to a lab in Kearney, Nebraska,” Marshall said. “They do a series of tests, including fiber and total energy.”
The entries are smaller this year, with a few of the regular exhibitors choosing not to enter the contest.
“We have a lot of youth entries this year,” Marshall said. “Jace Lynch has the only alfalfa in the contest.”
The high moisture in March, April, and May produced an abundance of grass in hayfields across the county, adding a lot of mass to the per acreage average production, but impeding the alfalfa in the first cutting as the grass overwhelmed the slower-growing legume while growing at an impressive rate.
Marshall would like to see many more entries in the hay contest since the quality of the alfalfa, and grass hay produced around us is of such high quality.
“It’s the best in the world and we should show it off,” Marshall said.