Eleanor Kellon, VMD
I have to agree about the NIR. From what I can determine, NIR needs to
be calibrated for each type of sample (e.g. species of grass) and even
then samples from a different area with significantly different
compositions might throw it off.
Your safest bet is to use tests only when the lab has independent
certification for the specific tests. Some labs are certified for NIR
for major minerals only (there's universal agreement it can't be used
for trace minerals). I've yet to see a lab certified for NIR for
carbohydrate fractions (or wet chemistry for carbs either for that
matter but there are standardized testing methods). If you could find
out from the lab what the method is that they use for sugar and starch,
we can tell you if it's comparable to what Dairy One does.