July 2018 Newsletter - #78
In This Issue
About Us
The Dairy One Forage Lab excels in providing high quality analyses  
and customer service. Our goal is to provide analytical services designed to meet the expanding demands of modern agriculture.  
New technology and traditional methods are combined to deliver fast, accurate results.
Testing During Tight Margin Times
By Sarah E. Fessenden, PAS; Business Development Manager

This year is unfortunately proving to be another year of low or negative margins for most farmers. More and more articles are being published outlining strategies to cut costs and maintain production through this tough period. One commonly adopted approach, if inventories allow, is to feed a higher forage diet to reduce the need for purchased feeds. Concurrent with this strategy, many producers also look to eliminate the expense of forage testing. While at first glance it's easy to believe that sampling less will result in savings, it's actually counter intuitive. Having additional forage in the diet makes it more critical than ever to test and ensure the diet is balanced and efficient.

Not only is basic component sample testing vital when feeding a higher forage diet, it is also important to monitor for shifts in the quality of the companion or advanced constituents. Eliminating mold/yeast testing, mycotoxin testing, or fiber digestibility time points from the testing portfolio could actually prove to be more costly in the long run. For example, armed with the knowledge of the mold/yeast counts or mycotoxin levels in your homegrown forages, one is better able to precisely feed the necessary binders or even remove excess binders. Having access to the fiber digestibility of your forages will help optimize the use of additional peNDF or other fiber constituents.

While Dairy One recognizes that testing is an expense, it is also one of the invaluable tools that helps successful producers remain cost effective. We are more than willing to work with our customers to assist in selecting the packages and services that best suit your needs and budget. Some ways to reduce testing costs could be switching from wet chemistry to NIR testing, or choosing a less extensive package, such as switching from the NIR Pro to the NIR Prime. By monitoring the forage parameters through less extensive, yet routine testing, the diet is able to be more efficiently managed. As noted above, we recommend still selecting a more expansive test to keep a watchful eye on the wider parameters.
Counterfeit Lab Results
We've recently received a number of reports in our Customer Support Department regarding altered analytical reports or fabricated lab results. This is illegal, will not be tolerated, and may result in legal action against those that engage in such activities. When faced with a purchasing decision, if you have any questions regarding the reliability of a report that accompanies the forage product, please call the lab to verify the sample ID and/or the results. We don't mind taking the time to verify the sample for you, especially if for any reason you believe the data or report to be suspect, as this may prevent you from spending money on feed or forage that is misrepresented. Taking this action will also minimize the chance of a counterfeit report from spreading further and affecting other unsuspecting customers. Contact forage customer support at (800) 344-2697, ext. 3 or forage@dairyone.com.
First Cutting Quality

The first results for 2018 are in and tabulated below! What does it look like? More challenges ahead. Looking at first cutting quality this year for NY, the next few cuttings will be especially important. The growing season started out wet followed by several weeks of unusually dry weather. These conditions are reflected in the fiber values measured to date. Across the major forage types there has been an average increase in % aNDF of 6 points and a decrease of NDFD 30hr, % of NDF of 5 points. There were also significant changes of the % CP in grasses. Please reach out to me if you are interested in obtaining a comparison between other years or a different part of the country: sarah.fessenden@dairyone.com.

Table 1. Summary of fresh NY haylage samples submitted from 4/30-6/18 for each year.
Meet Randy Russell

Randy is our senior proteins technician and oversees all protein related analyses including crude protein, soluble protein, degradable protein, ammonia, urea, and nitrates. Randy has been in the protein department since his career at Dairy One began 16 years ago. He started as an entry level technician before assuming the senior leadership role in 2010.

"If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. At Dairy One time goes by fast when you are around people that make you smile and at the end of the day, you know you got through it with your family. It's not a job, it's a way of life."

Randy grew up in Dryden, NY. After graduating from high school he obtained a welding degree from TST BOCES. He currently lives in Enfield, NY with his family; Marti-Jo, Emily, and Morgan. They also have a dog, Abby, and four rabbits. Randy enjoys hunting, fishing, riding ATV's, watching trail cams, and any opportunity to trek through the outdoors. He also makes maple syrup in the spring and spends as much time with his daughters as possible.
Upcoming Events - Come see us!

July 20-22
Lorenzo Driving Competition
Cazenovia, NY
August 4-9  
Comparative Nutrition Society 
Montreal, Quebec 
August 22-September 3
New York State Fair Dairy Cow Birthing Center
Syracuse, NY
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Dairy One - Forage Laboratory
730 Warren Road ~ Ithaca, NY ~ 14850
Phone:  1-800-344-2697 Ext. 9962