Feed test results are only as good as the sample submitted! You can only make the right decision if you have all the information.
There are a few important reasons to test your pasture:
- Is my pasture good enough to feed my stock?
- Is my pasture as good as I am budgeting?
- Should I silage paddock 1 or Paddock 2?
- Will this paddock make poor, average or very good hay/silage?
Here is a guide on an accurate way to collect your pasture sample for testing.
- Start at corner of paddock and walk diagonally across through the
paddock stopping every few steps to take a sample.
- You should collect around 20/30 small
grabs, representing what livestock will
be eating. (ie – not patches with
- Remove at grazing height (cattle 5cm above ground)
- Aim to represent the actual species composition, such as if there is a mix of clover and rye.
- If you get ½ way across the paddock and you find the bag is filling too quickly, take more steps between each sample location to ensure the whole paddock is covered
- Remove all excess air out of sample bag, this is important as it prevents decomposition and loss of nitrogen and non-structural carbohydrates.
- If not sending samples straight away store in fridge. Always send fresh pasture or any fresh sample such as silage via express post. Do not rely on regular post
- Do not send fresh samples towards the end of the week. Keep in fridge over the weekend and express post on Monday.