A method of testing silage is now available to producer that the developers claim will open up possibilities for greater insight into ruminant nutrition.
Using the new analytical method, silage samples are dried and ground before being scanned using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) equipment. And this means more accurate results compared to those from traditional wet methods, according to Eurofins Agro, which has launched the test in the UK.
This latest development in silage analysis, which is used elsewhere in the world, has not previously been widely available to UK producers.
NIRS works by irradiating a sample with a near-infrared light. The resulting reflection provides information on the nutritional composition of samples, when compared against a database of reference values.
“Drying a sample first removes the moisture, which can act like a ‘fog’, distorting the reflection and compromising accuracy,” says the company’s Isobel Daley.
“The grinding process then converts samples into a powder-like state, giving a more homogenous sample, which in turn gives more accurate, reliable and repeatable results.”