Nutritional Analysis (NIR) PLUS Nitrate Test (Wet Chemistry) Hay or Haylage


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*UK Customers: Please note that as delivery for this analysis is free this product does not count towards your total delivery cost in respect of free delivery on orders over £80 * If you order other items other than analysis they must total over £80 for free shipping.  Where items are under £80 we will contact you to collect shipping.*

You will not receive a kit for this product, please look out for an email.  You will need to send this sample back to Forageplus.  Postage is not included for sending the sample to us.

Forageplus hay or haylage nutritional plus nitrates analysis for horses gives nutrient levels in forage for feeding to horses. This procedure utilises traditional, wet chemistry, analytical methods to determine nitrate levels in the forage.

Nitrates (NO3) – can become a problem for horses when forage contains high amounts. Stress from drought, fertilisation and manure application practices where the balance of nitrogen to other minerals like sulphur in the soil is not taken into account, are factors that can lead to high nitrate levels. 

In addition to there being little research in general on nitrate toxicity in horses, even less is know about the effect of ingesting chronic “less than toxic” levels of nitrate over a period of time. Nitrate competes with the uptake of iodide and can affect thyroid function.

North Carolina State University has adopted the same guidelines suggested as safe limits for cattle for equines.  They report “Excessive intake of nitrates decreases the blood’s oxygen-carrying ability, which causes anxiety, increased respiration rate, and breathing difficulty. Severe cases result in loss of coordination, muscle twitching, and death”.

Where you see excessive protein in your hay sample it is wise to check nitrate levels.  In general grass hay and haylage in the UK should not be in excess of 12% protein.  Even at 12% protein some hays will have nitrate levels which are high.

The maximum acceptable Nitrate level in forage for adult horses is 0.5%. Higher levels may be “diluted” with very low nitrate hay to bring the Nitrate level for total forage fed below 0.5%. Hay for breeding mares and growing horses should not exceed 0.20% Nitrate.

Approximately 200 grams of a representative sample is needed. This representative sample will need to be taken from a larger sample which comes from 6 – 10 bales. Please indicate on the order notes at check out whether you are testing hay or haylage.

Approximately 150 grams of a representative sample is needed.

This representative sample will need to be taken from a larger sample which comes from 6 – 10 bales. Reports take 10-14 working days.

See instructions on this info-graphic if you want to start preparing your samples


Customers from outside the UK wishing to use our service will need to send samples to us at Forageplus, full instructions will be sent via email once we receive your order.

To avoid any extra charges due to increases in lab fees please use any analysis kit, bought from Forageplus, within 6 months of purchase.

Additional information


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