Faster feed tests with NIR-only service

Faster feed tests with NIR-only service

Date: 1 Aug 2018
Author: Hill Laboratories

Hill Laboratories (HL) are pleased to announce a change to our feed test offering. As from early August, an NIR-only service will be introduced for all pasture, forage-crop and routine supplementary feed samples. This change is in recognition of the need for fast turnaround-time for test results that affect the animal dietary decision-making for the feed currently available on farm.

Up until now, HL has taken a conservative approach to feed testing by NIR, using a “code-swap” to wet chemistry reference method protocol on statistically uncertain NIR results.  The benefit of this conservative approach means we now have a very large and robust NIR calibration model for all of the routine forages and feeds used in New Zealand farm systems. In fact, by building our own in-house NIR calibration model we have developed a service of particular benefit to New Zealand farmers because our data is specific for crop types and growing systems here.  This is not the case for other laboratories who use NIR-calibration models from overseas.

Of course the quality of our test results remains very important, so we will continue to monitor the statistical uncertainty of measurement of these NIR results. Any results with a high uncertainty will be denoted on the laboratory report and customers can request a confirmatory reference method test. Additional charges will usually apply in that case.

Please note that no broad price change will occur, as our Feed Test profiles are already very comparable to the marketplace. However, we can now include a Dietary Cation Anion Difference (DCAD) in our Extended Silage profile at no additional fee. As well, we will reduce the Compound Feed profile price for simple meal and pellet samples where a quick test result is wanted for immediate feeding decisions.

For further information on Hill Laboratories NIR feed test service please view our technical note - Analysis of Feedstuffs using Near Infra-Red Spectroscopy. This document also describes the quality assurance programmes we participate in to ensure a high level of confidence in these test results.