Sampling is often the weak link in forage quality evaluation.
The analysis you get is only as good as the sample you sent in.
Taking a good and representative forage sample on the farm is key for a successful forage analysis.
Remember that a small sample (1 lb) is used to represent tones of forage
Use a core sampler or probe to reduce sampling error
Randomly select 12 -20 cores per lot (bales from the same field harvested on the same day)
For round bales sample on the curve side with the core perpendicular to the side and for square bales sample on the small square end. Mix all cores in a plastic bag without dividing the sample to avoid separation of leaves and stems. Label properly.
Tower silos - Collect 15-20 handfuls from the silo unloader in a bucket. Combine the samples and mix well. Take 1 lb in a plastic bag, remove the air and seal tightly. Store immediately in a freezer or other cold place until shipping.
Bunker silos - Remove material from the face of the bunk. Create a pile on the floor and collect 5-8 handfuls of silage in a clean bucket. Mix thoroughly and take 1 lb.
Alternatively load a mixer wagon, mix several minutes, unload 15-20 lb. onto a clean surface and take 1 lb.
Place the sample in a clean plastic bag, press out air and seal tightly.
Store immediately in a freezer or other cold place until shipping.
Silage bags - Collect 6-10 handfuls from different locations across the silage face. Repeat the process for a total of 12-20 handfuls. Alternatively take 12-20 cores through the side of the tube at various distances along the length. Cover the holes after sampling with tape.
Combine all samples in a bucket, mix well and take 1 lb onto a clean plastic bag, press out air and seal tightly.
Total Mixed Rations - Collect 12-20 handfuls of the fresh mixed ration from different locations in the feed bunk. Mix all subsamples in a bucket. Take 1 lb and submit for analysis.
Bin storage: randomly collect 12-20 samples as the grain is discharged and combine in a clean plastic bucket.
Flat storage: grab 12-20 samples from various sites and combine in a clean plastic bucket. Mix well and submit 1 lb sample for analysis. Note: whenever possible, a grain probe should be used to take a sample.
NOTE: Do not freeze samples for mold and yeast analysis
Mail samples to:
Stratford Agri Analysis
1131 Erie St. P.O. Box 760
or drop off at the office at:
1131 Erie Street, Stratford (drop box available after hours)