Reflectance of grass field section measured using a PSR-1100 with a standard 4
degree FOV lens. Red trace represents a control solar scan as measured from a
reflectance panel. The blue trace is the scan of field grass.
Forage Analysis with NIR Spectrometers in
the Field or at the Farm
 First in Full Range PDA Spectrometer, Spectroradiometer and Spectrophotometer Systems
1 Canal Street  ◊  Unit B1
Lawrence, MA 01840  USA
Tel: 978 687-1833  ◊  Fax: 978 945-0372

Copyright © 2012 Spectral Evolution, Inc
Forage can include hay, hay silage, silage, straw, fodder, and pasture. Testing the nutrients in forage can
help producers and users to become more efficient in managing total mixed ration values fopr livestock
and using the right kind and amount of supplemental feeds.
High quality forage is one of the best methods for improving feeding
efficiency and livestock health. Economically, forage is cheaper than
concentrates/supplements. It's also healthier, enhancing animal
digestive functions and it can even improve the fatty acid profile of
meat. Knowing the quality of forage being bought or sold should be
taken into consideration to improve overall farming profitability.
Spectroradiometers can provide information on key characteristics
of forage, including hay, haylage, silage, straw, fodder, even pasture.

For example a
PSR+ 3500 or a PSR-1100 spectroradiometer can be
in situ to measure the substantial daily variability in different
forages. These agricultural spectroradiometers can measure:
  • Dry matter content (DM) - the effects of moisture
  • Crude protein
  • Starch
  • Acid detergent fiber (ADF)
  • Neutral detergent fiber (NDF)
  • Crude fat
  • Ash

For both the people producing the forage and the people using the
forage, this information can lead to a better total mixed ration (TMR)
that results in more efficient and cost-effective feeding of livestock
and dairy cattle.

The importance of high quality, rich in nutrient forage (whether hay,
haylage, silage, straw, fodder, pasture or other types) can't be
overestimated. Forage is balance with supplemental feed - knowing
the right mix is key to livestock health. In 2012 forage from that year
was drought-stressed - both livestock and dairy farmers who didn't
take this into account in the TMR calculations ended-up with sick

Field portable spectrtoradiometers and spectrometers can deliver
the following advantages over lab methods:
  • Samples are more accurate as they are taken directly in the
    field or at the silo
  • Real-time results provide the ability to do spot testing
  • There's no sample prep, no sample destruction, no shipment to
    a lab and waiting for results
  • You can track forage trends and plan your supplemental use
  • Test as weather and storage conditions change
  • Save scans as ASCII files for use with other chemometric and
    analysis programs
  • With a full range spectroradiometer, such as the PSR+ 3500,
    use EZ-ID sample identification software with its Custom Library
    Builder module to create a specific calibration library to suit
    your particular requirements
 First in Full Range PDA Spectrometer, Spectroradiometer and Spectrophotometer Systems
Field portable NIR spectrometers and spectroradiometers
provide in the field forage analysis
Field portable PSR+ used for forage analysis
PSR-1100 for reflectance measurement of grass