Forage Analysis Testing is a competitive market, so why would we want to enter into it?

For a number of years we were asked to look into the possibility of having a forage analysis lab. The main reason we did not was because we felt the needs were already being met in our service area.  This changed at the end of 2010 when several clients agreed to have us do their forage analysis dependent on who we decided to partner with.   In researching the possibilities I realized we needed a world class lab that had extensive wet chemistry experience.
We chose Cumberland Valley Analytical Services for many reasons, the main reasons being the ability to have customer service from a local source, and the extensive wet chemistry equations they had to back up our NIR testing.  We also opened a new market share for them as well, since we can send samples to them for all wet chemistry needs.

Once we had made the decision to move forward, we needed building space that was local.  We found that only 2 minutes from our main office, previously used as a veterinarian’s office.  We had to do minor changes to some rooms to setup for the space we needed, but within 2 months we had everything ready to launch our new Forage Analysis lab, including calibrated equipment and trained staff in May of 2011.

A big step was hiring the right staff for running the lab.  I was able to acquire one staff person with 16 years of feed industry experience and a college degree in animal science, and another coming straight from college with a dairy science degree.  With staffing needs met it was time to do the training.  Training was done at a satellite forage analysis lab of CVAS.  This was important to layout and design of several testing areas in our lab.  We are also participating in NFTA (National Forage Testing Association) and passed our first trial in July 2011.

Overall it has been a great experience.  The key element was our connections with many feed organizations, which we have developed relationships with over the last 20+ years, plus our partnership with CVAS.



Jere High
Lancaster DHIA
Manheim, PA USA