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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Achieving Uniformity in Forage Testing Reports

Authors
item Mertens, David
item Martin, Neal

Submitted to: National Forage Testing Association Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Information on laboratory reporting forms can be a source of confusion or additional information for clients. It can be confusing when laboratories use different names or abbreviations for the same analysis, use similar names for different analyses, or report results on different dry matter (DM) bases. Conversely, by providing additional information about the analytical methods used, the equations used for calculated results, and the potential reproducibility of results, laboratories can assist their clients in understanding and interpreting results. The National Forage Testing Association (NFTA) is proposing recommendations that would improve the uniformity in reporting results among laboratories. It is proposed that one column of results be reported on a 100 percent DM basis, with additional columns for reporting results on an as-is (as-received) or air-dry (90 percent DM) basis. It is also proposed that calculated results, such as NEL, TDN, RFV, etc., be reported in a separate section clearly identified as "calculated results" after analytical results are presented. The most important recommendation, but perhaps the most difficult to adopt, is to provide more information about the method used to obtain analytical and calculated results. Also, if the source of the equations used to calculate results were indicated on reporting forms, it would be easier for clients to interpret results and make reasonable comparisons among laboratories. The NFTA has no authority to enforce uniformity in reporting analytical results, but hopes that proposed recommendations will be adopted by laboratories as a way of reducing controversy and confusion.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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