1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Develop new or improved NIRS calibrations to characterize forage/feed quality. 2. Monitor and maintain NIRS instruments within the NIRS Consortium to provide consistent results in analyzing forages and other feedstuffs for nutritional value.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Support research and development and updating of NIRSC calibrations on the following aspects of the project:
a. Maintaining the Master NIRS instrument, monitoring NIRSC instruments and providing standardization files on a routine schedule and as needed when instruments are out-of-specifications.
b. Maintaining a database for tracking calibration samples (1) with submitted spectra, (2) selected for reference method analysis and (3) reference data for calibration; and scanning appropriate calibration samples with the Master NIRS instrument to obtain spectra.
c. Develop new or updated NIRSC calibration equations.
d. Provide database management of new NIRSC instrument company members marketing NIRSC caibrations via NIRS platforms different than Master system.
This agreement supports Objective 4 of the parent project: Develop techniques and technologies to better estimate the digestion and physical function of forages and other feedstuffs in the rumen and overall utilization by the cow. An improved dust suppression system for the near-infrared spectrometer (NIRS) master instrument was installed to improve sample throughput and integrity and serve as a model for consortium members. During FY 2013, instruments from ten member labs have been standardized in addition to one new instrument platform. The database for tracking submitted spectra data and cataloging physical samples has been separated from a new database used to track reference chemical data. Year to date, 1,913 samples have been received, of which 316 have been submitted for additional analysis.