Change for the Better - Changes to Complete Pasture Profile (CPP) testing | Hill Laboratories - NZ


Change for the Better - Changes to Complete Pasture Profile (CPP) testing

Date: 15 Feb 2023

They say “change is good” although many of us like things to stay just as they are, and find change a bit challenging. But to go on doing things just because you always have done, is not necessarily good either. With this preamble in mind, we are announcing a change to how we offer our herbage test services.

From April 2023, we will stop offering the Complete Pasture Profile (CPP), although the testing contained in that profile will continue – requested with different test codes.

The original premise for creating the CPP “package” offer was to encourage both a mixed herbage sample and a clover-only sample to be tested at a favourable price. However, both have a different purpose and we have observed many sampling irregularities as well as difficulties with submitting the two samples under this profile via our mobile apps.

The mixed herbage sample testing is largely intended to have an animal health objective, whereas the purpose of a clover-only sample test is to evaluate the plant’s nutrition from a soil-fertility viewpoint. Clover is important to the other plant species, since it is the principal source of the key nutrient, nitrogen. Clover is also likely to develop nutrient deficiencies well before the problems appear in other grass species, signalling potential problems for all pasture plants.

For both of these objectives, sampling time should be considered, but perhaps more importantly the sample collection itself is critical.

For mixed herbage and animal health purposes, a pasture sample representative of what livestock are about to consume (at any time of the year) is useful information. At key periods, an Extended Feed (ExtFed) profile might also be considered.

However, for clover-only, the advice is to selectively sample poorly performing plants in a paddock when clover should be in an active growth stage (i.e. is not limited by temperature or moisture) - so that any potentially limiting nutrients within the paddock may be identified. These plants will appear as stunted, pale-coloured clovers and the sample should be leaf plus petiole (although we suggest less than 10cm of petiole for the long-stemmed cultivars). At least 10g of clover-only sample should be submitted (2-3 x handfuls). Avoid vigorously growing clover (near dung or urine spots) as these plants will disguise any nutrient limitation in other areas of the paddock.

Two separate samples should be submitted and the test codes to use from April 1st are:
• Mixed Pasture sample = MPast profile (Basic Plant, Mo, Co, Se, CP, ME, DCAD)
• Clover only sample = Clov profile (Basic Plant + Mo)

The printed analysis request forms will be changed to remove the CPP test column, and the mobile app will no longer have “CPP” as an option to select. Our supporting Services Offered and Technical Note documents will be updated to give guidance on these simplified pasture and feed testing options. The client resources section of our website is a very useful repository for this supporting information (visit and our client services managers are just a phone call away if any more help is needed with this change.