NIRS Testing | Landholders Driving Change

Faecal NIRS testing – quick, inexpensive and informative

  • March-December
  • Across the BBB catchment

THE quality of the diet consumed by cattle is one of the main determinants of productivity, including reproductive performance, growth rate and carcass quality.

The analysis of cattle faeces using Near lnfrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) provides quick, inexpensive and reliable prediction of diet quality of grazing cattle.

The manure is tested by NIRS to determine:

  • Forage nitrogen and protein
  • Forage digestibility
  • Forage energy content
  • Amount of non-grass (browse) in the diet

NIRS diet quality results can be used to make informed nutritional management strategy decisions such as:

  • timing of weaning and age to wean down to;
  • putting classes of cattle with the highest nutrient requirements (for example, first-calf cows, weaners) into paddocks with the highest diet quality;
  • identifying nutrients that are deficient in the diets as well as any nutrient imbalances, and modifying licks to ensure there is a balance between nutrients fed in licks with nutrients obtained from pasture;
  • identifying when to upgrade from a nitrogen-based (i.e. urea-based) lick to an energy-based supplement before stock begin to rapidly lose weight;
  • identifying when to sell stock before they begin losing weight.

PIP blood tests assess the phosphorus status of animals, which if deficient can be a major factor limiting their growth and performance. PIP blood test are generally done on growing cattle when other nutrients are not in deficit.

Results are invaluable when planning supplementary feeding strategies for your herd. Contact the LDC grazing team if you want to know more about Faecal NIRS testing and PIP blood testing.

The Faecal NIRS Testing and/or PIP blood test service is part of the LDC’s BBB Grazier Support integrated program that is being rolled out this year. For more information: BBB Grazier Support program.


  • Brendan Smith on 0417 408 587
  • Rodger Walker on 0408 828 276
  • Adrienne Hall on 0428 158 859
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