On this page, you will find resources about forage production in NE Oregon. We have information about forage testing , soil sampling, and forage identification.


Forage Testing

There are several different factors that can influence forage quality. Drought, sun exposure, and temperature are a just a few things that can stress forage. Such stresses can affect forage quality for both horses and cattle. If there is ever any question about the quality of your forage, a $20 test for nitrates can buy a lot of peace of mind. Here are a few resources that might be helpful if you are considering testing your forage.

In this video, Dr. Sergio Arispe with the OSU Extension Service in Malheur County demonstrates the proper way to collect hay samples. If you need a hay probe, the Baker County Extension Office will loan you one for free.

Not sure where to send your hay samples? Here is a guide to ag testing labs that serve Oregon. Please note, not all the labs presented in this document test feed quality; the detailed list will indicate what services each lab provides.

Once you have the forage test results back from the lab, you may need a reference to help interpret the results. Understanding Your Forage Test Results is an OSU Extension publication that will help you navigate through your forage test results.


Soil Sampling

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Having an idea about the soil nutrients in your field will help you identify problem areas, select forages that are appropriate in a specific soil type, and have a better understanding of the soil amendments your field may need.

A Guide to Collecting Soil Samples is a guide to help you determine how to collect soil samples in your field. The Baker County Extension Office has a soil probe that we will loan out for free.

After you have collected your soil samples, here is a list of soil testing labs that serve Oregon. Each lab will have their own set of requirements, so be sure to call the lab before sending in samples.

The Soil Test Interpretation Guide is an OSU Extension publication that will help you decipher the soil test results. If you need more help, please call the Baker County Extension Office.


Forage Identification

Grasses and Grasslike Plants of Utah is a handbook published by Utah State University. It provides useful information about grass species identification, habitat, and forage value.

Identifying Pasture Grasses is another useful handbook that discusses plant growth, and offers pictures of seeds and seedlings of commonly used pasture grasses in the PNW.