Brian Barber1, Keith Piotrowski2 and Kristin Kamerud2, (1)Soil, Water and Climate/Soil Testing & Research Analytical Laboratories, University of Minnesota, ST. Paul, MN (2)University of Minnesota SWAC, Soil Testing & Research Analytical Laboritories, St. Paul, MN
The Soil Testing and Research Analytical Laboratories (STRAL) began expanding its testing services to offer grain nutritional testing in 2013 in recognition that obtaining these measurements are becoming increasing difficult, with fewer laboratories available to perform them, and those that do are increasing fees for them. With capital equipment grants and funding support from Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC), STRAL invested over $150K in equipment and two years of effort to develop and validate methods for the testing required to evaluate various grains. STRAL currently evaluates a number of characteristics of grain quality, including proximate, and crude oil percentage and composition, and is refining the process of identifying and quantifying sugars and amino acids. The proximate or Weende analysis of grains is a method that quantitatively determines different macronutrients in feed. The process involves the partitioning of grain compounds into six categories by means of common chemical properties. These six categories are moisture, crude ash, crude protein, ether extracts, crude fiber, and nitrogen free extractives. To date, STRAL has completed testing for proximates on more than 1200 soybean samples, as well as other forage crops (corn, canola, barley, edible beans, and pennycress). These tests have not been available through the University of Minnesota for many years, and STRAL will provide these services, benefiting all stakeholders and clients interested in these measurements. This poster will detail the results of several co-laboratory studies, achieving Approved Chemist Status with American Oil Chemist Society (AOCS) by satisfactory performance in their Laboratory Proficiency Program, STRALs Good Laboratory Practices, Quality Assurance and Quality Control measures, and methods necessary to conduct this testing.