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FORAGE QUALITY CONCERNS

Hot and dry weather in May, followed by wet conditions in June, have affected yield and diminished hay quality. For those buying and selling hay, it is always recommended to have the Relative Feed Value (RFV) available as an index to differentiate hays and to match forage quality with animal performance.

The RFV is calculated from the fibre concentration (ADF and NDF) of the forage. The NDF influences the DM intake, whereas the ADF influences the Digestible Dry Matter. The values are on a relative scale with full bloom alfalfa (41% ADF and 53% NDF) set at an RFV of 100.

A forage with an RFV of 140 is worth 1.4 times more than full bloom alfalfa. If a forage has an RFV value greater than 100, it should result in greater intake of digestible DM by the cow than full bloom alfalfa. Early lactation and high producing cows should be fed forages with an RFV of at least 130. Medium producing cows can be fed forages with an RFV of 100-120. Late lactation cows can usually be fed forages with an RFV of around 100.

SGS Guelph provides our customers a set of rapid, accurate, and inexpensive analytical packages to assess forage quality including the RFV. Contact us for more information or to submit your samples.

SUMMER SOIL TESTING

In the 4R Nutrient Stewardship modules, it is suggested multiple times to “sample soil as frequently and as densely as economically possible, and use appropriately calibrated soil test methods” for analysis.

Geo-referenced soil sampling is also highly recommended to best determine the “Right Source, Right Rate, at the Right Time, in the Right Place” when developing nutrient fertility plans. SGS Guelph has over 20 years experience in providing custom geo-referenced soil sampling and variable rate prescription.

Contact SGS for assistance in developing strategies or scheduling sampling.

VOMITOXIN (DON) ANALYSIS

A rainy June, and damp mornings, may lead to the development of Fusarium head blight infection in the 2015 wheat crop. Fusarium does not always lead to the occurrence of vomitoxin (DON), however lab testing can confirm and measure the accumulation of this mycotoxin.

Other toxins produced by Fusarium molds include Zearalenone, T-2 Toxin and Fumonisin; whereas Aflatoxin is produced by the Aspergillus fungus. Generally, wet conditions and high humidity influence the development of these mycotoxins.

Contact us for more information on our mycotoxin testing capabilities or to submit your samples.

For further information, please contact:

Jack Legg, CCA-ON
Branch Manager, Agronomist
503 Imperial Rd. N., Unit 1
Guelph, Ontario N1H 6T9
t: +1 519 837 1600