Forage measuring device arrives in UK

A forage analysis technology from agricultural materials analysis specialist Eurofins Agro UK, which is designed to help farmers and nutritionists make better use of homegrown fodder through more accurate and reliable evaluation, is now available in the UK.

The new handheld device combines laboratory testing and SCiO and is built to enable farmers to draw on global data index figures and benchmark values to measure forage more accurately than ever.

Eurofins has developed a comprehensive database of forage samples to analyse and benchmark forage. The global benchmark values and rumen character charts are being made available to farmers in the UK for the first time.

By using the tests, farmers will receive the most accurate forage measurement to enable them to increase profit and yield by adjusting the ration to the optimum level.

All samples sent to Eurofins are saved into the company’s global database to be used for future benchmarking. The farmer receives a report that draws on this database to offer more detailed and accurate forage insight.

Daniel Robinson, Eurofins Agro UK, managing director explained how the device works: “Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) we dry and grind forage samples before analysing them. This removes any inconsistencies in the shape and density of the sample to provide the most accurate result. The properties of the forage sample are then fed into our unique rumen character charts that show the nutritional value of the sample against a number of parameters.

“Understanding the make up of forage enables farmers and their nutritionists to judge what additional supplements may be required. Our tests show the nutritional value of forage to the rumen, which is a fundamental part of creating the correct TMR. Weighing a ration is one thing but understanding the exact make up of that ration is a new level of precision.

“We have developed an unrivalled database for dried and ground analysis containing thousands of NIR-spectra generated samples.  The number of data-points is far greater than those contained within the conventional databases used in the UK. By means of a mathematical model, based on a local calibration, we are able to derive a greater number of parameters for a wider range of forage types, raw materials and TMR.”

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