FREE feed and water quality tests are available to farmers across the Northern Tablelands.
The service is being offered by the Local Land Services' sustainable agriculture team as many producers are currently feeding their stock.
"Feeding and managing cattle can be challenging at times, especially when dealing with cycles of flood and drought conditions," senior Land Services officer Tahnee Manton said.
"There are a lot of management decisions to be made, many of which are time sensitive.
"Feed testing can help livestock producers understand the production potential of feed and the suitability of feed for maintenance, production, pregnant or lactating animals."
The service is offering up to two feed quality tests, one water quality test and soil testing free of charge to producers in the Northern Tablelands.
"It can be very difficult to tell a feed's quality just by looking at it, and it costs the same to transport good fodder as it does to transport poor quality feed", Ms Manton said.
"A small difference in feed quality can make a big difference in the amount of livestock feed required."
One of the most important principles when sourcing livestock feed is to cost out the most economical feed source. This can be determined by knowing the dry matter content and the energy within the feed. It is more economical to source feed with a high dry matter content such as hay and grain if you are transporting long distances.
A feed test will show the nutritional composition of feed, or the feed value, be it hay, silage, grain, pasture or pellets.
This helps producers accurately formulate feed rations for their livestock.
Tips on how to formulate a ration are available at droughthub.nsw.gov.au or through the NSW DPI drought and supplementary feed calculator.
"The calculator can help with decisions around when to supplementary feed, how much and the cost for the feeding period," Ms Manton said.
For more information on feed testing, phone 1300 795 299.