Taking Forage Samples

— Written By and last updated by
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Do you know the nutrient composition of the hay you have baled or purchased? If not, you really have no idea what you are feeding your livestock. Profitable livestock production is dependent on quality forage, so consider sampling your hay.

When taking forage samples, grab sampling and core sampling are the methods used. Core sampling is the most effective. Samples should be taken from each lot, or field, and producers should store hay so that each lot can be identified later. Sample bales 4-6 weeks after packaging, as moisture level and other qualities may change.

In grab sampling, bales are opened to reduce leaf shatter, and scissors are used to cut stems into 1” pieces. Do this on 10-12 bales from each lot, mix samples thoroughly, and put a composite sample in the sample bag. About 1 pint of material is sufficient.

Core sampling is done with a metal coring bit with an electric drill, and samples are mixed thoroughly, and a composite sample bagged for analysis. Square bales should be cored from the ends, and round bales from the side, both at right angles.

Sampling kits are available at the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Burke County office. If you’d like more information contact Damon Pollard at 828-764-9480 or by email at damon_pollard@ncsu.edu.