I was wondering: Do you know what the sugar content of the local grass (seeded pasture grass)in the Pacific N.W Cascades (near the 300 ft.sea-level. Is there a Home "Testing Kit" to show the sugar content in hay or whatever minerals/vitamins are in the hay? Thank-you much for your time. Sincerely, Judy
Alayne deferred the question to Risa DiMasi with Grassland, Oregon.
There is no 'easy' answer to your question unfortunately. For starters, there are a number of different species being used in the PNW so to make a blanket statement about all 'pasture grass' is impossible. There are some species that, generally speaking, are lower in water soluble carbohydrates. Our company has been doing quite a bit of research in this area for a number of years. Some species that we have identified as lower are Bromegrass, Bluegrass, Trefoil, and Orchardgrass among others. I would definitely steer clear of ryegrasses if possible. While it provides rapid green-up, and establishes quickly, ryegrass (both annual and perennials) as a species exhibits higher levels of 'sugars' than most and may present a laminitis risk. If your reader is curious about their current pasture, I would recommend taking a sample and sending to Dairy One lab for an NIR analysis. The cost is around $11 I think, but the shipping may be more. For best results the sample should be taken in the afternoon (when sugar levels are highest) and overnighted to the lab.
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