Re: A & L Canada Laboratories

mjlegault <mjlegault@...>

--- In EquineCushings@..., "gentpony" <gentpony@...> wrote:

Hi Marie Josee,
Do you know all the species of plants in your hay? Different plants have different carbohydrate profiles, even among grasses. If any cereal grain plants are in your sample, this might help explain your high starch.

The Dairy One Feed Composition Library is located here:

For samples they have analyzed, Starch for grass hay ranges from 0.659 to 3.531 %. Starch for wheat hay ranges from 0.166 to 8.018%.

Your 4.7% starch result is high, but not impossible. Often wheat is sown as a "nurse crop" for some newly planted hay fields, so there can actually be wheat in your hay! The amount of starch will depend on the degree of maturity of the plants, stress factors that occurred during growth, as well as other considerations.

Unfortunately, I see that Nutrilytical Inc. is NFTA certified only for NIR testing, so your 0.4% is likely a NIR result. Please see page 6 of this link:

NIR testing is not a reliable method to determine sugar or starch. NIR testing is not recommended by Dr. Kellon for accurately testing minerals either.

On this list, Dr. Kellon's IR dietary requirements for sugar plus starch to be less than 10% have been based on the Wet Chemistry results obtained by the Dairy One / Equi-Analytical Forage Laboratory. Over the years, other Canadian labs that also use wet chemistry have been investigated, A&L being one of them, but their results for sugar plus starch have either been higher or lower than samples also tested at Dairy One, as you have found out. I believe the same variability is true for other forage labs in the US. That is why the moderators recommend that hay samples be sent to Dairy One / Equi-Analytical for testing. That way, we can "all be on the same page", and not have to guess or rely on some vague variability factor when talking about hay analysis results and what they really mean. With that in mind, I am under the impression that wet chemistry results for minerals from different certified labs are generally thought to be fairly reproducible and comparable.

Unfortunately, this bit of information is not easy for new members to find.

We are also in Canada. Since the sugar/starch information is so important, we have sent all our hay samples directly to Dairy One ourselves, despite the fact that at times the American FDA paperwork has been difficult and frustrating. If it's any consolation, the new version of the paperwork is much easier to fill out, especially after you've done it once. For me, any inconvenience is worth it to know that my hay analysis results will be compatible with Dr. Kellon's and this group's recommendations.

I have not had any contact with Nutrilytical, but if you have been lead to believe that the results they are providing are "the same as" or you are in doubt that they are being performed by Dairy One, you might contact Paul Sirois at Dairy One to enquire if the samples you send to Nutrilytical are indeed being forwarded on to the Dairy One Lab in New York State for analysis.

I do not understand why Nutrilytical would test your samples before sending them to Dairy One when their NIR results are not comparable to a wet chemistry test. If you have paid extra for this, I would ask for a refund. Your sample can be sent to Dairy One for preliminary wet chemistry sugar/starch testing, and full mineral analysis can later be performed at your request. Using a middle-man seems to have complicated this process.

If you are not confident of the starch results, you can run another test at Dairy One, if you have any of your core sample left, or core the hay again. The larger the number of bales sampled, the more likely the analysis will reflect the contents of your hay.

Eva and Mel
SW Ontario March 2005

Hi Eva,
Thanks for your imput. I understand about different testing (NIR versus Wet Chemistry). But the same hay was tested at A&L back in october and the total ESC 6.5. Now A&L was ESC 8.4 and Equi-Analytical was 11.4%.
It was one of the "Moderators/Hay balancing Lady" who recommanded to send it to A&L to get sugar re-tested, witch I agree and thought it was a good idea.
When you think about it, we have no proof of witch lab is right...
Thanks again for the info.

Marie Josee
M-H / Canada
Sept 2012

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