Contact Info

Blackland Research & Extension Center
720 E. Blackland Road
Temple, TX 76502-9622 
254-774-6150 fax
8am - 5pm Central, Weekdays

GANLAB Information

Training Videos Are Now Online!  Visit our YouTube Channel.

Click here to download The NUTBAL Online Tutorial.

Kit Requests can be submitted via NUTBAL Online

Other Information:

Hay or forage tissue samples for NUTBAL

We often get questions about whether hay and or forage tissue analysis results can be used  as the diet quality input for NUTBAL.    

The short answer to this question is yes... 

However, there are some very important considerations that need to be considered before this option is chosen. 

First of all, NUTBAL was designed to be used in conjunction with fecal NIRS analysis.  The idea is that fecal samples represent what the animal had consumed.  Hay samples and plant tissue samples represent what is on offer to the animals which is not always representative of what the animals actually ate due to their ability to be selective when eating.    

Probably the most important consideration when using hay and forage tissue results would be the to identify the method used to calculate the digestibility of the forage.  Most forage testing labs report % TDN (Total Digestible Nutrients) as the energy and/or digestibility measurement of the hay or forage tissue.  NUTBAL uses Digestible Organic Matter (DOM).  DOM is an in-situ digestion procedure and in the development of the NUTBAL decision support system,  it provided more consistent predictions of actual animal performance when compared to TDN. 

TDN can be converted to DOM if TDN is calculated from proximate analysis of digestible Crude Protien, Crude Fiber, Nitrogen Free Extract and Fat (ether extract).  However, many of the commercial forage testing labs calculate TDN from estimate equations from that use only one or two of the constituents to predict the others.  When TDN is calculated this way, the conversion to DOM does not work as well and may cause problem when using the values in NUTBAL.      

So, the bottom line is yes your can use results from laboratory analysis of hay and forage tissue samples, but discretion should be used when evaluating the output of NUTBAL when TDN is used.  Please feel free to contact us should you have any additional questions.  Information on TAMU’s forage testing lab can be found at the link listed below.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory                  

Attention CSP ANM 17 Participants

CSP Letter 2012

Option 1: NIRS Results and NUTBAL Report $35.00 per sample

This option includes NIRS fecal analysis (crude protein and energy of forage consumed)  and a online NIRS/NUTBAL PRO system report for multiple profiles.  Users can choose between online system access or have the results and report sent directly to them via email, fax or regular mail.

Option 2: NIRS Results and NUTBAL Advisory $70.00 per sample

This option includes NIRS fecal analysis (crude protein and energy of forage consumed)  as well as an advisory written by one of our staff providing recommendations to meet desired production goals. Delivery of the advisories will be via email, fax, or regular mail.  For samples with more than three profiles,  a fee of $ 10.00 will be assessed for each additional profile.  Please allow for extra time for completion of option 2 as each advisory is written on an individual basis.

Who We Are...

Samples in oven

The Grazingland Animal Nutrition Lab, also known as the GAN Lab, offers diagnostic analysis and decision support software that is used as a nutritional monitoring program for grazing livestock.  In addition to our own research, we facilitate the research of other entities with our NIRS capabilities. We are a part the Center for Natural Resource Information and Technology (CNRIT), a center within Texas AgriLife Research that is devoted to providing technology solutions in the realm of natural resource management. We provide CNRIT with the ability to assess and manage animals’ nutritional well-being and the capability to develop project specific NIR applications.  Though research is our primary focus, we also offer nutritional analysis  to the public through our Commercial Services.  

Our primary research focus is using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) to analyze animal fecal samples to determine the nutritional quality of an animals intake.  This technology allows us to return nutritional analyses within three days of receiving samples from clients.  In addition to our primary research, we have utilized our NIRS capabilities in several more fields including soil analysis and wool and fiber grading.To compliment our NIRS nutritional analysis we also offer the Nutritional Balance Analyzer (NUTBAL) software free to the public.  This tool uses the animal description (the kind, class and breed), body condition, forage conditions, supplemental feed information, environmental conditions, performance targets and NIRS results to produce a nutritional balance report for protein and net energy and a report for least-cost feeding solutions.  Such reports can be used by ranchers, consultants, and extension and NRCS personnel to maximize animal weight gain and minimize costs.

What's New

  • NUTBAL Software
    08/17/16 15:27

    NUTBAL's primary purpose is to provide the livestock industry the means to monitor the nutrient concentration in the animal's diet and determine if the current diet is sufficient to meet performance goals set by the producer.
  • GANLAB Information
    08/17/16 06:27

    Training Videos Are Now Online!  Visit our YouTube Channel .
  • Publications
    11/17/13 11:01

    Rancher Information Packet The Rancher Information Packet includes instructions for packing and labeling the sample kit for shipping as well as basic information such as instructions and sample forms to get a new user started.
  • Getting Started
    04/18/13 14:04

    Basic Steps Login to Nutbal Online and create a "Kit Request" or call the GAN Lab and request sample kits for mailing fecal samples to the lab.A  GanLab Info Packet  will be included with the kits sent to you.
  • GANLAB Program provides science-based results
    10/25/11 16:37

    By CLAY COPPEDGE, Country World staff writer May 26, 2011 - Hunters, trackers and outdoors people from all over have long known the value of droppings (manure) to determine what an animal has been eating.