Plant materials can be tested for mineral nutrients or feed quality. Plant nutrient levels are valuable to identify nutrient deficiency or toxicity and to monitor the fertiliser programme.
Why Test Plants?
Soil and herbage analyses help pastoral farmers and their advisers choose the best fertiliser programme. They also highlight mineral imbalances that might be affecting the health of pasture or animals that feed on it.
Herbage tests of pasture complement soil tests and allow important trace nutrients like cobalt, selenium, copper and iodine to be adjusted for improved animal health. Using both herbage and soil testing will provide a better overall picture of the farm nutrient status for an improved fertiliser programme.
What tests to order
- For pasture, the Mixed Pasture Profile analysis is commonly selected and this contains a Basic Plant Profile with added cobalt, molybdenium and selenium tests.
- For those wanting a more comprehensive view of their pasture, especially when metabolic disorders are an issue Hill Laboratories offers an Extended Feed Profile. This suite contains the Mixed Pasture Profile combined with the Feed Profile.
- Clover-only testing is another useful way of understanding potential sol mineral issues. This is because clover develops mineral deficiencies before pastural grasses and is therefore an early indicator of potentially looming soil mineral issues.
- The Animal Dietary Mineral Balance (ADMB) Report is a value-added report that can be requested on all Mixed Pasture Profile tests. This report shows the animal requirements and dietary intake per nutrient for a specific livestock class. To get this report as part of your testing all you need to do is ask for the ADMB Report and supply details of the animals being fed.