(06/10/21) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU AgCenter will soon reopen a forage testing lab on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge.
The lab, located in 104 M.B. Sturgis Hall, will begin taking samples July 1.
“We will provide service to any grower, whether it’s a beef or dairy producer, and from any location,” said LSU AgCenter forage quality specialist Kun-Jun Han. “The lab is open to everyone.”
Han, who will manage the day-to-day operations of the lab, said he plans to have at least one student worker available to run samples every day.
AgCenter forage specialist Ed Twidwell said the forage lab takes the guesswork out of determining forage quality for the producer.
“I find it analogous to the soil testing lab. You don’t know what’s in the soil until you take a soil test,” he said. “It’s kind of the same thing with hay. You can’t look at a bale of hay and tell what the quality is.”
Growers should take a random sample from about 10 bales, combine them and then submit a sample that amounts to about a quart. Once the sample is sent in, it will normally take a week to 10 to receive results.
“Most beef cattle people are going to be looking at two basic parameters,” Twidwell said. “Those are protein content and TDN, which stands for total digestible nutrients.”
With this information, a producer can sit down with a nutritionist and balance their rations.
The cost of having forage tested will be $15 per sample. The test results will include crude protein and total digestible nutrients, plus some other nutritional values, he said.
For additional information on the AgCenter Forage Lab, visit lsuagcenter.com/foragequalitylab.
Kun-Jun Han, LSU AgCenter forage quality specialist, checks the results of a forage sample in the new LSU AgCenter Forage Testing Lab. The lab will open for hay producers to send their samples on July 1. Photo by Ra’Lisa Smith/LSU AgCenter
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture