Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer advises forage and livestock producers to test their forages. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture provides a forage testing service for a small fee.

“Testing provides livestock producers with valuable nutritional information,” Commissioner Farmer said. “By knowing the nutritional value of their forages, producers can minimize the cost of their feed while maximizing the production of their livestock.”

The Department tests samples for $10 per lot (same field, same cutting). Producers receive a laboratory analysis of their forage’s nutritional value and an “Interpreting Forage Quality Report” from the KDA. The analysis helps forage producers determine a fair market value for their product and helps livestock producers formulate the most nutritious and economical feed ration for their animals.

For producers who wish to sell their forages, a KDA inspector will make a visual evaluation and list the product in the Department’s online Hay Sales Directory. Each listing describes a lot’s type, cutting date and number, bale size and weight, color, odor, relative feed value (RFV) and other characteristics. Listings may be sorted by any combination of county, RFV, bale size and type of hay.

Producers and brokers looking to buy or sell hay also may contact the KDA’s toll-free Hay Hotline at (888) 567-9589. The Department makes no guarantees or claims to the quality, price or nutritional value of hay and forages submitted through the hotline.

The KDA has a forage testing van used for testing and educational purposes. The van may be booked for hay contests, meetings, fairs and other events by calling toll free 1-800-248-4628.

For more information on the KDA’s Forage Testing Program, go to www.kyagr.com, click on Programs, and click on Forage Testing, Hay for Sale (Tested) or Hay Hotline, or contact Kim Field at email: Kimberly.field@ky.gov or 1-800-248-4628.