Inaccurate rations result from inaccurate forage dry-matter values. Jim Barmore, technical service specialist with Monsanto Dairy Business, identifies the following two ways to prevent breakdowns in forage-moisture testing that could jeopardize a well-balanced ration:

1. Implement a specific, agreed-upon plan for testing forages. Items to include: when samples will be taken, who is going to take the samples, sample collection procedures and which lab will analyze the samples.

2. Provide the right equipment — a Koster moisture tester or microwave, for example — for employees to get the job done.