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NIRS Analysis of Forages & Feedstuffs

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Eurofins Agro offers analytical testing for a range of forages and feeds using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). This service is particularly aimed at those working on dairy farms or with equine animals.  

NIRS is a spectroscopic method that uses the near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum (from 800 to 2500 nm) to provide a breakdown of the nutritional composition of roughage, raw materials and total mixed ration (TMR).  To find out more about how NIRS works, please click here

To meet the needs of all customers, we offer two alternative approaches to NIRS analysis: 

  1. NIRS Analysis of Dried & Ground Forage & Feed Samples
  2. NIRS Analysis of Fresh Forage Samples to FAA Protocol

To learn more about each approach, please see below.  For advice on choosing the approach best suited to your needs, please get in touch at AgroTesting@eurofins.co.uk or on +44(0)845 604 6740.

NIRS Analysis of Dried & Ground Forage & Feed Samples

Eurofins Agro offers customers the opportunity to have samples dried and ground prior to performing NIRS analysis.  This approach offers significant benefits over the conventional UK approach of analysing fresh forage samples.  These include:

  • Homogeneity: The drying and grinding process converts samples into a homogenous, powder-like state.  In comparison to fresh and unground samples, which are full of "bits", these homogenous samples yield more accurate results when analysed by NIRS. 
  • Dried: The moisture within a fresh sample acts like a "fog" when irradiated with near-infrared light.  It distorts the NIR spectrum generated, and compromises accuracy.  Drying the sample removes the moisture, leading to a much better prediction.
  • Sample Preservation: Unlike fresh samples, a dried sample does not degrade over time.  This means that the sample materials can be retained for further analysis at a later date. 
  • Database Size: Eurofins Agro has developed an unrivalled database for dried and ground analysis containing thousands of NIR-spectra generated using classical reference methods.  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, this enables us to reliably derive a great number of different parameters for a wide range of common roughages, raw materials and TMR. 

All of the factors above contribute to generating highly accurate results.  Accurate results enable agricultural decision-makers to make better decisions leading to improved input/output optimisation and increased profitability. 

For a list of materials that can be analysed using this approach.  Please click here.

NIRS Analysis of Fresh Forage Samples to FAA Protocol

We are an active member of the Forage Analytical Assurance Group (FAA), which works to provide quality assurance for wet silage testing in the UK. 

Eurofins Agro offers rapid analytical testing of a range of fresh forage samples using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) according to FAA protocol.  This analysis is best suited to situations in which information is required very rapidly, since the samples do not need to be dried and ground.  The list of available fresh NIRS packages can be found here

For the most accurate and in-depth breakdown of nutritional composition, we would recommend having samples tested using the dried and ground approach.