An accurate feed test begins with an accurate sample submitted to the lab for testing. If the quality of your product varies, you may need to have multiple samples tested to better define the quality of your product.

How To Test Hay

Required sample weights: >300g

The best method to take a sample, which is representative of your product, is through the use of a corer. The Hay Corer essentially enables you to quickly take multiple sample points through multiple layers of a baled product. This results in homogeneity of a sample.

If a corer is not available, multiple ‘grab sample’ points may be taken to make up a suitable sample. Be sure to avoid sampling from the weathered exterior of the bale, as this is not representative of the majority of your product.

If you don’t have a corer, you can buy one here online.

How To Test Silage

Required sample weights: >500g

Just like hay we encourage you to use a Corer to take the sample! Ensure you tape over any punctures you make when coring wrapped silage.

If a corer is not available, multiple ‘grab’ samples may also be taken to make up a suitable sample. If sampling from a pit or bunker, ensure you are taking the sample from a newly cut face.

To prevent sample degradation of silage samples it is important to exclude as much air from the sample as possible. This is easily done via vacuum sealing the sample; or with a ziplock bag, rolling the sample to exclude air and taping securely shut. These samples are also best kept cool and delivered to the laboratory as quickly as possible. If posting your samples into the lab, avoid mail delays by posting your sample at the beginning of the week, refrigerating samples over the weekend if required.

How To Test A Standing Crop

Required sample weights: 500g-1kg

If you wish to perform a feed test on a crop that you are using for grazing, randomly sample from multiple points throughout the paddock, cutting samples at grazing height. Avoid collecting soil or manure with these samples. These samples are also best kept cool and delivered to the lab as soon as possible to prevent sample degradation.


Required sample weights: 1kg

You can take a random running sample from a silo; or if sampling from a truck or bagged product, use a grain probe to gather multiple samples from random locations throughout the lot.


Required sample weights: 1kg

Collect from freshly blended rations. Take 10 or more handfuls from multiple, random locations, mix and supply a sample of the composite. If your ration is high moisture (i.e., damp to touch), these travel best if packaged and treated as per silage samples.


  • Neville Janke

    Neville Janke is a qualified agronomist and Horticulturist with over 20 years of experience guiding farmers in the Agricultural and Horticultural industries. With this experience, Neville has been helping long-term users of Hay and grain to experience the Feed Central way of sourcing quality Feed for hungry cattle.

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