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Smell is one way to evaluate forage quality

Sixty-three forage entries were displayed at the first annual Sealpro® Forage Contest during World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA last week. Three categories were placed by two independent nutrition consultants: Alfalfa Haylage, Winter Forage, and Corn Silage. Results were based 60% on a Rock River Laboratory, Inc. complete lab analysis, 30% on actual sample inspection, and 10% on drive over shape, face management, and safety from a photo of the pile or bunker the sample was taken from.

“Our goal for the contest was to engage everyone through sight, smell, touch, and science,” said Connie Kuber, Connor Agriscience. “There is always something new to learn about forage, no matter how long you’ve been making it. Every year Mother Nature presents a different harvest scenario. The better prepared we are to meet that challenge through planning, communicating with our harvest crews, and keeping an eye on harvest method, the more dry matter and nutrients we’ll have. Our winners are great examples of that kind of care and attention to detail.”

Contest results were announced February 11 at a ceremony in the Connor Agriscience/Sealpro® display just west of the show’s Dairy Center. Winners received a plaque and prize money in each category: First place $500, Second place $250, Third place $100.


  • First place: Chowchilla South Dairy, Chowchilla, CA
  • Second place: Diamond H Dairy, Chowchilla, CA
  • Third place: Ruann Dairy, Riverdale, CA


  • First place: Nutcher Farm, Modesto, CA
  • Second place: Chowchilla South Dairy, Chowchilla, CA
  • Third place: Johann Dairy, Fresno, CA


  • First place: Dewit Dairy, Acampo, CA
  • Second place: Willem Deboer Dairy, Tulare, CA
  • Third place: Rocking S Dairy, Modesto, CA

2020 Sealpro® Forage Contest Winners (L to R): Ron Kuber, Connor Agriscience; Siebren Jacobi, Rocking S Dairy, 3rd place Corn Silage; Willem Deboer, Deboer Dairy, 2nd place Corn Silage; Rick Nutcher, Nutcher Farm, 1st place Winter Forage; Kara DeGroot, representing Johann Dairy, 3rd place Winter Forage; John Madsen, Avery Madsen, Brooke Madsen, representing Dewit Dairy, 1st place Corn Silage; Joe Martin

The Sealpro® YOU be the Judge Contest was also held during Expo in the Connor Agriscience display. Entrants placed four corn silage samples using the same criteria as the Sealpro® Forage Contest. Fifty-six entries competed for prize money at each level: First place $250, Second place $100, Third place $50.


  • First place: Central Valley Christian FFA, Visalia, CA
  • Second place: Gustine FFA, Gustine, CA
  • Third place: Chowchilla FFA, Chowchilla, CA


  • First place: Miner Institute, Chazy, NY
  • Second place: Fresno State University, Fresno, CA


  • First place: Jordan Miles, Clovis, CA
  • Second place: Brad Bitter, Chowchilla, CA
  • Third place: Brycen Knox, Tulare, CA