Uses and Abuses of NIR for Feed Analysis

Published on: 08/14/2013
Author/s : Dan Undersander (University of Wisconsin)

IntroductionDairymen use feed and forage testing to reduce feed costs and maximize production. As such, accuracy of the feed tests are of great concern. The true objective of a forage or feed analysis is to predict animal performance from the forage and feed used in a ration formulated to meet nutrient requirements. This means that dairymen must consider, first, does the test relate to animal perf...

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August 14, 2013
Hello Mr. Undersander, very interesting piece of paper and even though I consider myself illiterate in this matter, I wish to ask you the following: I would assume that phytate, as another nutrient in raw materials can eventually be NIR-analyzed; following this assumption, how reliable NIR can be when determining the content of phytate in an ingredient and how different could the different equations be when comparing ingredient to ingredient?. Many thanks in advance and congratulations on your work. Rafa from Madrid, a very hot day.
August 27, 2013
Good Day Mr Undersander, a quick question for you. As you write in your article "The big advantages of NIR are that it is much less expensive and more repeatable. Therefore a farmer would get better results by running multiple samples by NIR than a single sample by wet chemistry when the cost would be the same or less.", why in your opinion are farmers still so reluctant in buying Nir devices for real time analysis, when it is so evident the benefit at different level for their operation? Thanks in advance a greetings from Manuela - Italy
September 23, 2013
Phytate can be measured if a good data base of samples with chemistry exists to build the initial NIR Equation. The reliability and difference among equations for feed types depends on how the NIR equation is build. A reliable equation could be build to work across grain types.

Many farmers have not bought real time NIR devices because of the cost and the extra time involved. I think it will eventually become more common.
September 23, 2013
Many thanks Dan!!
Afam Anene Afam Anene
B. Sc. (Hons), M. Sc., Ph. D
October 7, 2013
Good Day Prof Undersander. Congratulations for this emerging technology. Am interested in fish nutrition and I will like to find out if this technology can be used in fish nutrition research. how can those of us in Nigeria get to acquire the skills on how to use the NIR. what is the cost?
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