Why Feed Test?
Feed testing provides a measure of nutritional contents of the feed. Commonly cereal grains, hay and silage are tested for nutritional values. A feed test report contains information such as Moisture, Protein, Energy, Fibre, Digestibility, Sugar, Starch and minerals.
From a dairy, beef and sheep producers’ viewpoint, feeds require testing for any one of the three primary reasons.
- Realistic basis for pricing feed- results from feed analysis can be used to predetermine the price of feed. It is important to understand that test result should be judged in the context of animals to be fed and the duration of feeding.
- Objective assessment- It is Ok to observe the appearance and smell of the feed. Feed testing for objective assessment is still required to know how that feed to contribute to the overall nutritional requirement of the animal on a daily basis.
- To develop a cost effective feeding decision- Feed cost is the most important aspect of dairy, beef and sheep production system. Without knowing the nutritional quality of the purchased feed and buying that feed which seemed cheap per unit of protein or energy or starch may eventually become an expensive feeding exercise as it may take longer time to achieve the desired result (target weight gain or litres of milk etc.).
Feed test report are only useful, however, if the numbers are understood and used correctly to formulate a balanced ration for your herd.
For further assistance speak to our CopRice Nutrition team on Free Call 1800 267 742.