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7.21.17 - Summer heat and declining milk components has put fatty acid nutrition and fat tests in focus

Over a portion of the summer season, milk components declined (both milk protein and fat content) and butterfat value rose to a premium level, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the Class III milk price. This seasonal milk fat decline, coupled with the fact that fat accounts for a majority of producers’ milk payments and marginal milk prices, has put fatty acid nutrition and fat tests in the focused crosshairs of nearly all producers and their nutritionists. Check out the recent blog post from John Goeser detailing what the future holds for fat in dairy nutrition, here. 


7.11.17 - Tips for in-season management offer growers and their agronomists time and money savings

Planting season is over! The crop is in the ground and for a short time, growers are breathing a sigh of relief and maybe even catching some time to see their family. But within a blink, the reality of low commodity prices, delayed planting, poor germination, denitrification, missing or late applications hit. And this list of in-season grower challenges goes on and on. Check out our recent blog post for tips to guide you through some common in-season challenges here. 


6.21.17 - New commodity analysis by NIR offers accurate results in a fraction of the time

Rock River Laboratory now offers two Near Infrared (NIR) commodity packages. Users will see the same solid, accurate results on commodities as offered by wet chemistry analysis, but with quicker results and at a smaller price point. Try these new packages out today by choosing either ‘Commodities by NIR’ or ‘Commodities by NIR with Starch’ on your Rock River Laboratory Feed and Forage Analysis Request Form.


6.21.17 - Forage crop quality trends vary across the US

The latest nutritive quality trends report composed from our analysis data and expert team review suggest varied results.  Here is a quick overview of our insights. Download the report here.

Eastern US

    • Corn silage: quality is relatively stable now that producers are well into feeding '16 corn silage
      • The crop's TTNDFD looks to be up slightly over '15, likely due to drought in much of the region
    • Hay & Haylage:
      • Protein is down but fiber content remains steady
      • NDFD30 and TTNDFD have modestly increased month over month and relative to '16. Expect more milk based on these trends.

Midwestern US

    • Corn silage: As we’ve witnessed in the past, there is more grain in '16 relative to '15 silage
    • Hay & Haylage: first cutting is rolling in
      • Slightly more fiber in early '17 hay and haylage, relative to '16
      • NDFD appears to be up from ‘16

Western US

    • Silage: Small grain silages look to be up in starch and grain, diluting out the fiber
    • Hay (mostly):
      • Hay TDNs trending down, possibly due to substantial rain, delayed harvest or rained on hay, or disease pressure and leaf losses

7.5.17 - Nathan Hrnicek and Megan Kelly join our consultant team

Rock River Laboratory has welcomed two new experts to our consultant team in 2017. Nathan Hrnicek joins us in the role of Technical Nutrient Advisor. In his new position, Hrnicek will consult with agronomists and nutritionists to build relationships, share insights and develop new opportunities for customer success.

Megan Kelly joins us as a Nutrition Analytic Consultant and the Rock River Laboratory-Ohio manager. In her new position, Kelly will manage the day-to-day quality analysis of all samples passing through the Rock River Laboratory-Ohio facility while building relationships and sharing insights for success with Northeastern and Midwestern US-based nutritionists.

Learn more about Nathan and Megan on our Experts page: Experts


6.15.17 - Rock River Laboratory Closed Tuesday, July 4th for Independence Day

Rock River Laboratory's domestic locations will all be closed on Tuesday, July 4th in honor of the US Independence Day. We will be running our regularly scheduled services on Monday, July 3rd and will resume our Convenience Routes and analysis during our regular business hours on Wednesday, July 5th. Thank you to all customers for your understanding. 

5.16.17 - New Technical Bulletin Details Rock River Laboratory’s Researched Laboratory Drying Techniques

How do we do it? And why? Learn just that by checking out our latest technical bulletin created by our team to provide researched insights to various methods of sample drying for analysis. This bulletin shares what techniques are accepted standards by the governing bodies in our laboratory analysis industry, as well as the methods Rock River Laboratory utilizes to prep samples for your sample’s accurate analysis. Download and read this technical bulletin here: Exploration of Laboratory Drying Methods


2.15.17 - The new Comprehensive Nutrition Analysis can paint a more complete ration pictureComplete Picture

The most inclusive Near-Infrared (NIR) nutrition analysis on the market is now available from Rock River Laboratory. The Comprehensive Nutrition Analysis package offers users a new vision toward optimizing herd performance. Providing advanced and accurate dietary analyses, this new package fills in the gaps and helps your team garner greater insight on ration performance to improve diet formulation. View a full spectrum of starch digestion information, Total Fatty Acids, and Total Amino Acids all on an easy-to-read results report. Learn more here. Try out the new Comprehensive Nutrition Analysis today by including it on your Feed Analysis Request form or selecting it within the FeedScan sample submission app. 


12.13.16 - Feed analysis trends and depleted animal health are highlighting detrimental feed quality; TMR Hygiene Rock River Laboratory is here to help

The Rock River Laboratory technical nutrition team is observing concerning levels of anti-nutritional factors within Total Mixed Rations (TMRs). These observations from sample analyses, combined with ongoing calls regarding reduced cattle performance, sick animals and even some fatalities have driven the creation of the TMR Hygiene Diagnostic package. This new analysis package has been created to help both Rock River Laboratory’s nutritionist partners and their customers quickly and efficiently identify and combat the detrimental effects of the broad spectrum of anti-nutritional (mycotoxins, nutrition, bacteria and stress – Figure 1) prevalence across the US. The Midwest corn crop and harvest was challenged by the likes of stalk and ear rots (molds), yeast, and mycotoxins (Vomitoxin (DON) and other toxins). Rock River Laboratory is recognizing heavy anti-nutrition factor concentrations within many corn based feeds and TMRs.  These factors combined with other negative nutrition (i.e. lesser than ideal rumen starch digestion) and/or stress factors may compromise cattle health and performance.

Nutritionists and producers suspecting any opportunities in this realm should consider the TMR Hygiene Diagnostic package, which combines several items from the Rock River Laboratory portfolio to assist in narrowing down the culprits and to help lead users to the root of these problems – hopefully in time to proactively avoid animal health challenges. The new TMR Hygiene Diagnosis package includes: 

  • Mold, yeast, and Vomitoxin (DON) count
    • Mold identification
  • Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) and other enterobacteria count
  • TMR Nutrient Analysis
  • Wet chemistry Rumen Starch Digestion 

Package cost: $140 ($50 off the list price)

Those interested in running this analysis on samples should write “TMR Hygiene Diagnostic” on their Feed Analysis Request Form. FeedScan users can select ‘TMR Hygiene Diagnostic’ under the Mold/ Toxin heading within the app. 

Results will be reported within 10 business days following the samples receipt. Upon receipt, nutrition consultants and producers who would like further support are welcome call Rock River Laboratory’s technical nutrition team. 


12.12.16 - Rock River Laboratory Northeast offers new sample pickup route

Rock River Laboratory is excited to announce the start of our New York Convenience Route for sample pick up! Convenience Routes connect Rock River Laboratory sample drop boxes at various business locations throughout the service region to save customers time and the headaches associated with sample submission. The Rock River Laboratory team is picking up samples nightly, Monday through Friday, at the locations and estimated times mapped and detailed here


Mycotoxin Distribution Report11.23.16 - Mycotoxin distribution reaches concerning levels this fall 2016

Rock River Laboratory’s latest toxin analyses report covering all feed types and TMRs from October 1st through November 18th showcases high levels of certain mycotoxins. Dairy and livestock producers should work with their nutritionists to pay special attention to compounding factors that can introduce or encourage toxins and review guidelines for safe and toxic levels. Download the Mycotoxin Distribution report here: Mycotoxin Distributions.

Review Rock River Laboratory’s guidelines for toxin levels here: http://bit.ly/toxinguides


11.14.16 - Rock River Laboratory’s overseas brand presence grows as calibrations stay consistent

Rock River Laboratory-Europe has opened its doors in the village of Heiddorf in the district of Ludwigslust, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The new laboratory stands to assist dairy cattle and equine owners, and their nutritionists, analyze feedstuffs to make informed decisions for optimal ration building. Offering both Near Infrared (NIR) and wet chemistry analysis, Rock River Laboratory–Europe also touts the added value of a proprietary, cloud-based calibration management system that seamlessly provides access to the same accurate prediction equation database employed by each of the existing Rock River Laboratory locations. Thanks to this new technology, whether customers send a sample to Rock River Laboratory in Wooster, Ohio, Watertown, Wis., or Heiddorf, Germany, they will get the same research-founded analysis results.   

Now serving Germany, Rock River Laboratory-Europe looks to the future with considerations for regional expansion. To kick off this exciting new venture, Rock River Laboratory-Europe will be exhibiting at the upcoming EuroTier, the world’s leading trade show for animal husbandry and livestock management. Please join us in welcoming the new Rock River Laboratory-Europe team to the Rock River Laboratory family. 


11.7.16 - There are soil sampling options - make sure to identify and utilize the right one for your farm operation

Three popular methods for soil sample collection have emerged at the forefront of the industry: 5-acre conventional sampling, 5-acre grid sampling, and 2.5-acre grid sampling. However, two overarching types of sampling are typically compared: grid sampling versus conventional.  So how do you or you and your customers decide which method is best for each operation? Check out the blog for our tips on how to decide what’s best for you or your customers: Which soil sampling scheme is right for your operation?


10.25.16 - Recommendations to optimize quality, stability and cleanliness of this year’s challenging corn crop

The 2016 corn harvest is underway, albeit slowly and riddled with extremely challenging weather conditions across the upper Midwestern U.S. Much of Wisconsin (and the Midwest) have experienced two or more inches of rain, beyond normal rainfall totals per year. With these conditions in place, we’ve put together insights and expectations for producers and their consultants to consider for feed quality, stability and cleanliness from this 2016 corn crop harvested as corn silage, snaplage, high moisture or dry corn: Soggy harvest wreaks havoc on silage, high moisture, and dry corn


Rock River Laboratory offers new total anti-nutritional package for this challenging 2016 harvest

In an effort to help our industry as it faces major anti-nutritional challenges in this wet fall harvest, Rock River Laboratory will be offering a new, limited-time analysis package, combining: mold and yeast count and identification, plus Vomitoxin (DON) screening. This analysis package will come with a reduced price of $55 ($75 value) through December 31st, 2016. Call our team to learn more and reference the ‘Mold, yeast and toxin’ package to receive this analysis on your next sample. Despite the dismal conditions, we wish everyone a safe and fruitful fall harvest. 


Dial in your horses’ non-structural carb needs and avoid clinical illnesses like obesity, laminitis and insulin resistance

Generally speaking, protein, fiber, non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), and minerals are all measured components used to assess hay quality. But, NSC has gained more attention than the other components over the past few years as horse owners work to dial in exactly how high or low this component needs to be for their horses’ needs. Learn more in this blog post from our on-staff PhD, John Goeser and equine nutritionist Amber Krotky by clicking here


New particle size research emerges through collaborative effort between UW Madison Dairy Science Department and Rock River Laboratory

Connor Willems and Randy Shaver of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, along with Rock River Laboratory team members John Goeser and Eva Lynch have collaborated on new research in the realm of particle size. Willems, a student intern for Dr. Randy Shaver, completed the research at Rock River Laboratory, as part of his Zoology 151/152 class project. Learn more about the research by viewing the summary poster, titled “Mean particle size: Evaluation of variation within industry processed grains and determination of the effect of laboratory grinding”. Download the poster here: Particle Size Poster


Breakthrough research regarding in vitro and in situ starch digestibility assays published

Research has demonstrated that Rock River Laboratory's rumen in situ starch digestion relates to dairy cattle digestion and improved nutrition model accuracy, whereas another commercial lab measure did not. See the ADSA/ASAS JAM abstract titled "Evaluation of in vitro and in situ starch digestibility assays." on page 777 in the 2016 JAM Abstract book linked here.



New Rock River Laboratory-Chile offers dairies abroad access to same accurate, research-founded analysis results

Rock River Laboratory - Chile marks the sixth forage laboratory in Rock River Laboratory’s growing global agricultural testing network. The Temuco laboratory offers full NIR services onsite and partners with the Rock River Laboratory network to provide wet chemical feed and forage analysis. Using a proprietary, cloud-based calibration management system, Rock River Laboratory - Chile is able to seamlessly access the same accurate prediction equation database employed by each of the existing Rock River Laboratory locations.  Thanks to this new technology, whether customers send a sample to Rock River Laboratory-Ohio in Wooster, Ohio, Watertown, Wis., or Temuco, Chile, they will get the same research-founded analysis results.

New to NIR: Starch in legumes & grasses

Rock River Laboratory has released NIR measures for starch in grasses and legumes. The new calibration has an R-squared of .99 and a standard error of 1.

Starch content is well understood in TMR, corn silages, grains and sorghum/Sudan silages.  However, the question is posed as to where starch resides in grasses or legumes

Feed analysis reports’ 60-Day Averages now regionally specific

The 60-Day Averages column on Rock River Laboratory results reports are now regionally specific to the laboratory (region) where they were analyzed. These averages are also specific to feed type. This feature, unique to Rock River Laboratory analysis reports, offers users a dialed-in comparison to better qualify their client’s feedstuffs

Rock River Laboratory

Founded in 1976, Rock River Laboratory is a family-owned laboratory network that provides production assistance to the agricultural industry through the use of advanced diagnostic systems, progressive techniques, and research-supported analyses.  Employing a team of top specialists in their respective fields, Rock River Laboratory provides accurate, cost-effective, and timely analytical results to customers worldwide, while featuring unsurpassed customer service.

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