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FORAGES

Forage Quality:

Forages analysed include grass, grass silage, maize silage, arable crop silages and hay.

Grass silages are analysed by Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS).  FBA Laboratories are participants in the UK based Forage Analysis Assurance Group (FAA). By the use of regular ring tests, the FAA has established a series of standards and methods that ensures accurate silage analysis.

Silages are analysed for quality of preservation, protein content and energy value.  Reports include predicted animal intake, predicted animal performance, and supplementary feed guidelines.

Pre-ensilability Test:

To reduce the risk of poor quality preservation, it is advisable to test the grass in the week before the proposed harvest date.  Samples are tested for Dry Matter, Crude Protein, Nitrate Nitrogen, Fibre Content, Sugars and Buffer Capacity.  This range of tests enables the laboratory to advise on the crop suitability for ensiling.

Mineral Profile:

Forages require mineral supplementation to varying degrees depending on mineral content, and the category of animal being fed.  Analysis for major and trace minerals enables the farmer and adviser to decide on the appropriate mineral supplement to feed to dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep or horses.

The standard mineral profile analysed is Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium, Sulphur, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Molybdenum, Selenium, Cobalt, Iron, Iodine.