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Forage Analysis Definitions


Dry Matter (DM) - The percentage of the sample that is not water based on 100%

Moisture - The percentage of the sample that is water based on 100%.

Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) - The percentage of highly indigestible plant material in a feed or forage. The lower the ADF, the more digestible a feed is to the animal.

Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) - The percentage of cell wall material or plant structure in a feed. The lower the NDF percentage, the more an animal will eat. NDF includes acid detergent fiber and is inversely related to intake, therefore, a low percentage of NDF is desirable.

RFV (Relative Feed Value) - An index for ranking cool-season grass and legume forages based on combining digestibility and intake potential. Calculated from ADF and NDF. The higher the RFV, the better the quality. It is used to compare varieties, match hay/silage inventories to animals, and to market hay.

Protein - A long chain of amino acids essential for plant and animal life. Animals meet protein needs by breaking down plant and microbial (from the rumen) protein and reassembling as animal protein.

Minerals: K - Potassium Mg - Magnesium Ca - Calcium P - Phosphorus

NEG (Net Energy Gain) - An estimate of the energy value of a feed used for body weight gain above that required for maintenance.

NEL (Net Energy for Lactation) - An estimate of the energy value of a feed used for maintenance plus milk production during lactation and for maintenance plus the last two months of gestation for dry, pregnant cows.

NEM (Net Energy for Maintenance) - An estimate of the energy value of a feed used to keep an animal at a stable weight.

TDN (Total Digestible Nutrients) - The sum of the digestible protein, digestible nitrogen free extract, digestible crude fiber, and the digestible fat.

ME (Metabolizable energy) - The energy in a forage that is not lost in feces, urine, or rumen gasses.

DMI (Dry Matter Intake) - An estimate of the relative amount of forage an animal will eat with only forage fed.

DDM (Digestible Dry Matter) - An estimate of the percentage of the feed or forage that is digestible, based on feeding trials with animals and is determined from ADF concentration and can be used as an estimate of energy value in ration balancing.

CP (Crude Protein) - Total protein equivalent including nitrogen from both protein and non-protein sources.


Milk Definitions


AGITATION - Refers to the action of mixing milk in a bulk tank or tanker truck. Insufficient agitation or none at all greatly affects certain tests. When raw milk is allowed to sit undisturbed, the cream portion rises to the top, as well as somatic cells and bacteria. Therefore, in order to obtain a true representative sample of the entire volume of milk, it must be agitated.

BLOOD AGAR - (Washed Bovine Blood Agar) Contains nutrient in the form of blood. Used to culture bacterial organisms including Coliforms, Streptococcus spp. (Strep), Staphylococcus spp. (Staph), and certain environmental organisms. These bacteria can greatly affect the production of milk and are economically important in the dairy industry.

BULK TANK - Self-cooling holding tank for milk.  Typically, milk from one or more milkings is transferred to the bulk-tank where it is held and cooled until picked up by a truck and shipped for processing.

BUTTERFAT - Also known as "milk-fat" or simply "fat" is a component of all milk.  Dairy animals' records typically indicate the amount of butterfat produced during a test (test-day), throughout her lactation, or in her lifetime - usually in a percentage or in pounds (lbs.).  Butterfat levels in milk are typically higher than protein levels, but an "inversion" of butterfat and protein (where protein content is higher than that of butterfat) can be an early indicator of health problems for individual animals or a group of animals.

COLIFORM - A group of bacteria most commonly found in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals. “True” coliforms ferment lactose and produce gas as a by-product. “Environmental” coliforms do not ferment lactose or produce gas but may appear on the PCC plate as simple red colonies. ADM Laboratory tests for this group as a quality control to measure the cleanliness of the practices used to collect and process raw milk from the dairy.

COMPONENTS - Refers to SCC and analysis of butterfat, protein, lactose, and SNF (solids not fat). The percentages of these components affect the quality of the milk and the price the dairyman receives for his milk.

DHIA - Dairy Herd Improvement Association. Developed in the early 1900's as a cooperative effort between dairy producers and their local Extension System to facilitate testing of dairy animals' milk, both in weight (amount) and components (fat and protein content) in a convenient, standardized manner.

HDS, HD Series -
Refers to a set of three bacteriological platings- SPC, LPC, and Coli. The series in combination with a PI plating provides a reasonably comprehensive screening of a dairy's sanitary methods and procedures.

LOAD SAMPLE - The vial identified as coming from the tanker into which the milk is loaded at the dairy or processing plant for transfer to another destination.

LPC (LAB PASTEURIZATION COUNT) - Refers to a count that reflects the number of bacteria able to survive pasteurization and remain in processed milk. These bacteria are mostly environmental and readily inhabit milking equipment. Therefore this count is an indicator of poorly cleaned equipment and can indicate the need for increased maintenance. This count is part of the quality program that determines bonus/penalty payments and is therefore of great concern to a dairyman.

MUN (Milk Urea Nitrogen) - A protein measurable in milk that reflects the quality of the feed being given to a producing herd.

MYCOPLASMA - Refers to a group of organisms classified as plasmids. Neither bacteria nor virus, these microscopic pathogens are economically very important in the dairy industry. Impacting the production of milk at the individual cow level, Mycoplasma can significantly reduce the output of a dairy and cost a producer many thousands of dollars. Mycoplasma cannot be treated effectively and thus a cow affected by the pathogen becomes a source of contamination, is removed from the milking herd, eventually rendered nonproductive, and destroyed. Most producers submit samples from any cow with abnormal milk production to be tested for mycoplasma. They may also implement a control program in which farm tanks are routinely tested. If myco is found, the dairy's pens are tested, then the cows from the affected pens. This will tell the dairyman which cows to remove from the milking string and where to apply stronger controls)

P.I. (PRELIMINARY INCUBATION) - Refers to a procedure involving the incubation of a specified volume of milk at 13 degrees C for a period of 18 hours. This simulates poor storage procedures and allows certain bacteria (psychrotrophic or cold-loving) to flourish if present. These bacteria are primarily environmental and large numbers indicate poor sanitary procedures.

PROTEIN - A component of all milk.  Dairy animals' records typically indicate the amount of protein produced during a test (test-day), throughout her lactation, or in her lifetime - usually in a percentage or in pounds (lbs.).  Protein levels in milk are typically lower than butterfat levels, but an "inversion" of butterfat and protein (where protein content is higher than that of butterfat) can be an early indicator of health problems for individual animals or a group of animals.

REPORT PROCESSING - Checking test-day data for errors, creating averages, summaries, and records for individual animals and the entire herd, and compiling reports of animal and herd records for the dairy producer by a Dairy Records Processing Center (DRPC), such as AgriTech, Provi, and AgSource.

SCC (SOMATIC CELL COUNT) - Refers to the number of cells found in a specified volume of milk, whether from a single cow, farm tank, or plant tank. Somatic cells consist of white blood cells and epithelial cells and are normally present in low numbers. This count is highly significant to a dairyman, as it determines what he is paid for his milk. (See related article in reference section.)

SPC (STANDARD PLATE COUNT) - Refers to a microbial count that reflects
the total number of colony forming bacteria in a milk sample. This test counts all bacteria, from the cow to the equipment to the tank. This count is part of the Quality program that determines bonus/penalty payments and is therefore of great concern to a dairyman.

TC (TEMPERATURE CONTROL): Refers to a vial labeled "T" or "TC" used to monitor the temperature of a sample or set of samples. Also known as "pilot" sample.

TEST DAY - The day in which a DHIA Technician or a dairy producer "tests" their milk. Typically a 24-hour period in which all animals in a herd have their milk weighed and sampled and animal "status" data (including calving dates, dry-off dates, and breeding dates, among others) is collected for "processing".

 

 
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