How to Take Samples—Feed

Sample Lot

A lot is defined as feed stuffs taken from the sample cutting, at the same stage of maturity, the same species and variety, the same field, mixer batch and sources of the feed stuff. Sample and analyze each "lot" separately.


Sampling Equipment

We recommend core sampling tube or probes only. They must be long enough to penetrate 12 to 18 inches into square bales and to the center core of large bales. They must have an internal diameter of at least 1/2 inch. All sampling devices must have sharpened tips to cut through a bale or package.


Quartering Method

Mix samples thoroughly. Pour it onto a large flat surface and mix sample. Divide the sample into four equal parts. Save the 2 opposite quarters. Be sure to save the fine material at the bottom of the saved quarter. If the sample is still to large, divide the sample again.

Hay

Sample size required: 2 cups

Baled hay should be sampled with a hay probe. At least twenty bales from a lot should be randomly chosen and sampled; the more bales sampled, the more accurate you test will be for that lot. (A "lot" is considered like species, like harvested. Visit foragetesting.org for more information.) For square bales, insert the probe into the end of the bale at right angles to the surface. Round bales should be sampled by inserting the probe through the rounded side of the bale where the strings are, rather than the flat side. Use the quartering method to arrive at the proper sample size. Place all core samples in an airtight bag.


Silage

Sample size required: 2 cups

Harvest (fresh): As loads are brought to silo, periodically collect samples from each load. Keep the container closed to prevent moisture loss. Use the quartering method to arrive at the proper sample size. Place the sample in a plastic bag, exclude air and seal tightly. Ship sample promptly.

Bunker: Silage stored in bunkers should be sampled from several different areas of the bunker. After the final sampling, mix all collected samples together in a large pail and collect a sub sample for analysis. Follow quartering procedures as previously stated to reduce sample size. Place the sample in a plastic bag, exclude air and seal tightly. Ship sample promptly.

Horizontal Silo: Sample after the ensiling process is complete (3 to 4 weeks). Run silo unloader 2 to 4 minutes with silage forming a pile at base of silo. Take several handfuls from the top middle and bottom of the pile. Mix the samples together thoroughly and use the quartering method as previously stated to reduce the sample size. Place the sample in a plastic bag, exclude air and seal tightly. Ship sample promptly.

Pasture

Sample size required: 1 Gallon

Select 8 to 10 locations with similar moisture and fertility history. Remove the forage to a grazing height from a 1 foot square for area at each location. Chop the sample into 1 inch pieces. Use the quartering method to arrive at the proper sample size. Place in a plastic bag, exclude air and seal tightly. Ship sample promptly. Samples should be taken preferably on Monday’s or Thursday’s to arrive at lab on Tuesday’s and Friday’s. Try to avoid a weekend shipment of your sample.

Grains

Sample size required: 2 cups

Take two grab samples from the storage bin during two to three successive unloadings. High moisture products should be placed in a refrigerated airtight container between collections. After the final sample, mix all collected samples together in a pail and follow quartering procedures as previously stated. Place sample into an airtight zip lock bag. Ship sample promptly.


TMR’s

Sample size required: 2 cups

Samples of Total Mixed Rations, or TMR’s should be taken from the feed bunk before livestock have a chance to eat or sort the feed. Collect several samples from different parts of the bunk, mix together in a large pail, and follow quartering procedures as previously stated. Send a representative sample for analysis.













Stearns DHIA Laboratories
825 12th Street South, PO Box 227
Sauk Centre, MN 56378-0227
320.352.2028 · 800.369.2697
Fax 320.352.6163 · Email

 

Hours
Monday-Friday: 8AM-4PM
Front Entrance Drop-Off Open 24 Hours
Refrigerator Available for Water, Milk,
and Wet Feed Samples