Boost livestock productivity with forage testing

Rapid and consistent test data on nutritional parameters gives a better return on mixed ration, hay and silage.



Forages cover up to 80% of energy intake for livestock, particularly for beef and dairy cattle. For instance, it provides protein and fibre that is essential for feed conversion, gut health and rumination. Plus, many forages can actually provide nearly all, if not all, required minerals and trace minerals, especially when alfalfa and other legumes are included.


Despite its importance, the nutritional composition of forage is difficult to predict. It varies from batch to batch and even within the same batch. Occasional tests are often insufficient when deciding how to get the best out of material. For instance, studies show that there is significant variation in the nutrient and dry matter content across the silage clamp.


Innovative analytical solutions for forage testing more essential data in the hands of farmers. This includes parameters such as moisture, protein, fibre and more. Specifically, automation of chemical methods and use of indirect methods such as near infrared are increasingly important for high throughput and quick turnaround time in the laboratory. The growing potential of NIR for forage testing at the feed lot or on the farm can generate new levels of analytical data leading to more rational and effective use of forage as an essential feed source.

Insights add value


Process Forage 

Check incoming raw materials

Ensure correct payment, reject out-of-spec materials and segregate raw materials before mixing

At the TMR mixer - on farm evaluation

Avoid mistakes in formulation and improve the nutritional value of TMR

Improve throughput and turnaround time in the laboratory

Certified chemical analysis methods for forage testing can be automated for speed and safety while minimising use of chemicals.


Alternatively, laboratories interested in faster turnaround time, a near infrared (NIR) solution offers an attractive way to help farmers pay for and make the most of their TMR.


Often subject to discussion about accuracy compared to reference methods, NIR solutions are proven to be increasingly stable and reliable. In addition, given the high variability in raw material, the ability to deliver a greater frequency of measurements is a valuable facility. The speed and ease of use frees-up resources and the existing wealth of reference analysis data provides a great platform for calibration of NIR instruments, either from scratch or by adjustment of starter calibrations according to the characteristics of local forage samples.


Networked NIR for calibration management

Forage testing with NIR requires data collection from both reference analysis and the sample types involved to build calibrations that reflect natural variations in samples, for example over different growing seasons and harvest conditions.


Technology development can lay the ground for faster and easier calibration of animal feed analysis equipment.


The connectivity features of FOSS NIR solutions and supporting networking software make it simple and cost effective to manage analytical operations. For instance, an update to a calibration can be installed on a master instrument and then shared across all instruments in different locations at the click of a mouse button. Such an approach also allows a specialist to monitor and manage remote instruments while operators do not need any specific knowledge and training and can simply run their samples.





NIR forage testing for improved nutrient content of total mixed ration


To get an optimal Total Mixed Ratio (TMR) formulation, it is essential to know the actual nutrient content of both forages and compound feed ingredients at the time of mixing.


Designed for reliable use in the laboratory or even in the harsh environment of the farm or the feed lot, near infrared (NIR) solutions allow you to analyse the nutrient content of fresh silages in less than a minute. Rapid results for multiple parameters help to optimise the the ratio of feed to silage and ensure optimal yield from livestock. Studies on dairy herd productivity, show an improved yield of up to several liters of milk per cow per day.

Improve the nutritional composition of Total Mixed Ration with NIR

What to consider for regular, on farm silage testing with NIR to improve the nutritional value of the feed mix and increase yield in dairy cattle. Read article


Performance, uptime and transparency of data


FOSS solutions draw on multiple technology disciplines including instrumentation, software and connectivity. Among the benefits of this complete solution approach is rock-solid and consistent high analytical performance of instruments, no matter where they are located and who is using them. Other advantages include transparency and traceability of results and unique levels of service and support.

Network DS3 

With you in your daily work


Our integrated and remotely controlled support and optimization services ensure maximum value from all your FOSS solution wherever you are in the world. Beyond on-site maintenance, our service engineers and application specialists are always with you online. The team monitors performance status and secures that your connected analytical operations run smoothly. Our preventive maintenance warrants up-time and quality of data - day after day. Read more.

How can you make more of your forage and TMR?

Get in touch with our specialists to discuss your potential business value with no strings attached. Let's talk


Exceptional accuracy for a wide range of feed and raw materials.


The innovative NIRS™ DS3 combines unique analytical performance with the latest software and networking services, making reliable test data more easily available than ever.


Know the quality of incoming raw materials and update your formulations to optimise production.
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NIRS DS3 Product Picture

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Feed and forage analyser designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments on the farm.

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