Measuring the digestibility of feedstuffs is vitally important for fine-tuning rations as well as trouble-shooting diets that are not performing. But one challenge with in situ and in vitro lab measurements is choosing the right time point for analysis.

Another approach, in vitro gas production technology, may be able to provide a more accurate and comprehensive picture.

In vitro
gas production technology can assist nutritionists and producers in better understanding the digestion kinetics of feeds and forages. This system, along with standard analysis and in situ steps, allows for the determination of kds at multiple time points and when maximum rates are achieved.

And, points out Jay Johnston, owner of RFS Technologies in Canada, it can troubleshoot TMR problems. Used as a diagnostic tool, it can help you determine "which ditch you are in and how can get out quickly."

"Of the TMR samples we have seen coming through our lab, the ability of this system to predict milk production is remarkably high," says Dave Taysom, director of Dairyland Labs in Arcadia, Wis.

If interested, you can send samples to Dairyland Labs which is offering this service in cooperation with RFS Technologies. Cost is $145 per analysis.