Superior Feed Quality Testing Service For NZ Farmers » Hill Laboratories

Superior Feed Testing Service For NZ Farmers

Superior Feed Quality Testing Service For NZ Farmers

Date: 9 May 2018
Author: Hill Laboratories

Understanding animal nutrition is a pivotal component to modern farming practices and is critical to maximising animal health and productivity. In New Zealand our feed source profiles are unique, which means that ensuring your feed analysis service is tailored for New Zealand varieties is essential.

Our investment in Near-Infra-Red Spectroscopy (NIRS) began with feed testing, and our belief that development of our own NIRS calibration provides a superior feed quality testing service for New Zealand farmers. Together with a now extremely large calibration sample set based on New Zealand forages and the underlying complex chemometric model we have developed, the laboratory has a high level of confidence in the reported feed values for the wide range of forages used by our farmers across the seasons.

This involved collecting spectra and result data for tens of thousands of samples, which included brassica, fodderbeet and novel forages such as plantain, chicory and red clover mixes. Other laboratories mostly use calibrations from overseas, where other feed types are dominant and different growing conditions prevail.

As our lab has in-house reference chemistry and employs our own NIRS modellers, we are able to continually monitor and maintain this very extensive calibration. We currently offer an NIRS service with “code-swapping” to reference chemistry protocol for results that are identified as statistically uncertain.

Readers interested in the science of Near-Infra-Red spectroscopy and how this works in principle for measuring feed quality nutrients should refer to our Analysis of Feedstuffs Using Near Infra-Red Spectroscopy Technical Note. Essentially, calibration models are built by collecting many thousand spectra and relating these against reference chemistry values for the same samples – the models are then used to “predict” results for samples of the same type.

If knowing that your feed testing service has been specifically developed and optimised for New Zealand conditions is important when considering a testing partner, then choose Hill Laboratories.

Given our confidence in the size of this calibration, in the near future the lab will be adopting an NIRS-only service to ensure turnaround-time needs are met. Samples with potential outlier prediction statistics will be identified on the test report. Reference (wet chemistry) method analysis will remain available on request by quote.