Dairyland FAQs

Search some of customers most commonly asked questions

What size sample should be submitted for analysis?

Forage or feed require a full pint/quart size bag of sample. A full sandwich bag is an acceptable submission.


Non-Forage, require half a pint/quart size bag-or 2 cups.


Below are examples of appropriate sample sizes using Dairyland's sample bags which can be requested on the supply request form.



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What is the difference between an NIR Package and the same Chemistry Package?

For chemistry packages, samples are sent to the laboratory and are tested using approved procedures. Nutrients can be extracted with chemicals or heated, and can be measured by weighing after extraction or with complex instruments. Chemical analysis is more costly and takes more time, but results will approach the sample’s true value if enough repetitions are run.


Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIR) measures interactions between near-infrared light and the organic bonds in a sample. Nutrients in the feed absorb and reflect the near infrared light in unique ways, which are measured by the instrument. The instruments use complex equations developed by Dairyland Laboratories using a database with known chemistry values to quickly estimate the nutrient composition of the sample.


NIR can measure many nutrients (> 15) with just one scan, that could take weeks to analyze in the chemistry laboratory. The main drawback of NIR analysis is that it has higher error than the chemistry analysis, with a good NIR calibration having 1.5 times the error of the chemistry analysis. Additionally, NIR analysis is less or not effective on nutrients that produce low NIR signal. For example, mycotoxins are present in extremely low concentrations and cannot be measured effectively by NIR. Minerals are also less accurate by NIR than other nutrients because they are not organic and produce insignificant amounts of NIR signal.

How should a sample be sent to the lab?

Samples in a sealed bag can be dropped of at any of the Dairyland Laboratories locations or by using the Dairyland Drop Box Network.


Samples may also be submitted through the United States Postal Service (USPS), UPS, FedEx or local courier services such as SpeeDee.


Dairyland locations and drop boxes can be found here:


Which test should I chose?
NIR can be performed on the following: beet pulp, blood meal, brewer's grain, canola meal, corn distillers grain, corn gluten feed, corn silage, Corn (whole, snaplage, & earlage), hay, haylage, meat & bone meal, small grains, soy bean meal, soy hulls, steamed flaked corn, TMR, and wheat middlings.


Wet Chemistry can be performed on the following: any NIR product listed above, pelleted feed, protein mix, mineral mix, grain mix, liquid samples, cottonseed, sunflower seeds, any type of screenings (corn, soybean), dog food, gin trash and much more.


How can samples be paid for?

Dairyland offers four ways to make payments:


1. A Visa or MasterCard number can be included on the top of the submission form. (The three digit security code and    expiration date must be included. 


2. A check for the total of requested testing may be included with samples and sample form.


3. Payment over the phone may be completed upon receipt of results or invoice.  


4. A credit card can be stored on file at Dairyland to be charged when there is an available balance.

What is an E-Sample and how can the Sample Portal be used to create an E-sample and submit a sample?

An E-sample is an unique number that will automatically generate once all required sample information is submitted in the feed submission menu of the Dairyland Sample Portal (similar to the feed submission form).

The E-sample number, which is written on the sample bag upon sample submission, is used at the lab upon receipt of your sample  to see the sample information and tests requested. 



What do the abbreviations on my report mean?

There are many shortened test names that are commonly used for requesting and reporting tests. Use the button below for a list of some of the most common terms and definitions:


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