Contact Info

GAN Lab
Blackland Research & Extension Center
720 E. Blackland Road
Temple, TX 76502-9622
ganlab@brc.tamus.edu 
254-774-6134
254-774-6150 fax
9am - 4pm Weekdays

GANLAB Information

Scanning Samples


Hay or forage tissue samples for NUTBAL

We often get questions about using the results of hay and or forage tissue analysis 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 evaluated 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 exactly what the animal consumed were as hay samples and plant tissue samples are effectively what is on offer or potentially to the animals and, not necessarily representative of what the animals actually ate.  

Probably the most important consideration would be the method used to calculate digestibility of the forage.  Most forage testing labs report % TDN (Total Digestible Nutrients)   as the forages energy and or digestibility measurement.  TDN is calculated as the digestible CP (Crude Protein), Crude Fiber insoluble carbohydrates, NFE (Nitrogen Free Extract) soluble carbohydrates, and EE (%Fat) X 2.25 added together.  To get these numbers the proximate analysis values for the constituents that contains energy: crude protein, crude fiber, ether extract, and NFE. Multiply each times their digestibility, and fat times 2.25, and add the values together and get % TDN. 

NUTBAL uses Digestible Organic Matter (DOM).  DOM is an in situ digestion procedure and NDF analysis correct for time in bath and in vitro digestion correction.  When testing NUTBAL, DOM proved to provide more consistent predictions of actual animal performance when compared to TDN. 

There is a fairly robust conversion to go between TDN and DOM if TDN is calculated from the proximate analysis of all four components, the only problem is that analysis is costly and time consuming so now many commercial forage testing labs calculate TDN off of a regression from only one or two constituents.  When TDN is calculated this way the conversion to DOM does not work as well.      

Bottom line is yes this can be done but discretion should be used when evaluating the output of NUTBAL when TDN is used from a hay sample.  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.

Information on TAMU’s forage testing lab can be found at the link listed below.

 http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/

Kit Requests can now be submitted at any time online with the NUTBAL Online system

We are excited to have the new and improved NUTBAL Online web site up and running.  Please feel free to check it out.  Returning customers, your login credentials as well as all of your past samples are still the same.  Click the link below to view the site.  A tutorial for the new site is available for download as a PowerPoint show or in PDF format.

 NUTBAL Online PDF

http://cnrit.tamu.edu/nutbal_online/       

                                                             

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

  • GANLAB Information
    07/21/14 08:52

    Hay or forage tissue samples for NUTBAL We often get questions about using the results of hay and or forage tissue analysis as the diet quality input for NUTBAL.     The short answer to this question is yes...
  • 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.
  • NUTBAL Software
    07/09/12 14:48

    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 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.