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Sampling is the key to accurate feed analyses and properly balancing livestock rations. Here's how to do it.
Accurate feed analyses are needed to balance livestock rations, correctly price hay, formulate least cost supplements, and efficiently allocate homegrown feeds to the proper class of livestock. Sampling is the most important factor affecting accuracy of feed analyses.
The feed value of most forages varies. Therefore, test forages routinely to determine their best and most economical use. With adequate forage testing, you can develop an accurate forage inventory which allows you to efficiently allocate higher quality forage to high-producing livestock and poorer quality forage to animals at lower levels of production. Because forages are more difficult to sample than grains, this guide emphasizes sampling of hay and silage.