FAA PT Scheme Value & Benefits

The Wider Picture

With costs of inputs such as fertiliser and fuel showing only an upward trend, it is more and more important that the value of our resources is realised. The whole system from the production of silage to feeding out from the clamp or bale, needs control in order to gain maximum benefit from this source of feed.

Forage analysis is a key part of this – it provides information on how well a forage has ensiled as well as detailed information on the nutrition captured within that silage.

The FAA Group members analyse over 70,000 samples per year of silages in the UK and Ireland. Taking part in the PT scheme provides assurance to farmer and feed adviser customers that the information in their forage analysis reports can be relied on when making decisions on feed rations and on environmental impacts.

The PT scheme data contributes to improvements in understanding of analysis too and development of new methods.

Click Here to See Current Year PT Scheme Analysis

For laboratories analysing forage….

Taking part in in a PT scheme allows a laboratory to assess how well it is conducting the forage analysis. The PT scheme provides a reference value for comparison - for example wet chemistry vs Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS). It also provides a comparison with analysis results from other laboratories. These comparisons quickly show if the laboratory is performing satisfactorily or if there are errors, biases and differences in the results it is reporting and if corrective action is necessary.
The PT scheme provides an independent appraisal of each laboratory’s data.
Analysing laboratories generally operate to nationally recognised standards of accreditation such as UKAS or ISO. The PT scheme data can be used to support this by providing evidence of regular self-assessment to an auditor.

For users of forage analysis services – farmers, nutritionists, feed advisers...

Forage analysis is an important science which helps farmers, nutritionists and feed advisers understand the nutritional content of silage materials. That information when used as the basis of livestock feed ration formulations, can optimise outputs and minimise emissions and adverse effects on the environment.
This not only saves cost, but makes full use of home grown resources and reduces waste.
There are various methods of forage analysis all producing valid information. The key factor for farmers and feed advisors is confidence that the results are reliable and can be used as the basis for feed ration changes which could have a direct effect on the efficiencies and costs of the farm. The PT scheme provides this confidence – throughout the season of silage feed out, FAA laboratories are testing their performance. This is also reported on our website demonstrating quality assurance in forage testing each month and throughout the season.
This is not to say that results won’t show some variability or differences between labs and between samples, due to the nature of silage material, the details of the methods used or even how the samples are taken.
Regular sampling of clamps and bales will build up a picture of the nutrition being provided to livestock. It is the consistency of each individual laboratory’s results over a series of samples that provides confidence and reliability in their particular method.

Our Contact Details

Forage Analysis Assurance Group
First Floor, Unit 4 The Forum
Minerva Business Park, Lynch Wood
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 6FT
+44 (0)1733-385230

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