Gjizelle Nel (MSc student)

Gjizelle holds a BSc Agric Applied Plant and Soil Sciences degree. Because of her interest in, and passion for efficient and sustainable agriculture she decided to pursue a masters degree in pasture science specifically pertaining to forage quality.

Forage quality is becoming increasingly important in livestock production. Understanding forage quality could aid in improved feeding programs which will ultimately increase production efficiency. Conventionally forage quality is measured using laboratory techniques, also known as wet chemistry. Near infrared reflectometry spectra (NIRS) is a newer way with which this can be measured. NIRS analysis is much faster and allows the user to collect real time data. The aim of this study is to determine the validity of NIRS analysis in different circumstances with regards to fertility and harvest stage. It also aims to determine a protocol for sample preparation to ensure optimal accuracy.