NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium
History of the NIRSC

History of NIRS and NIRSC
  • 1800: First NIR spectrum recorded
  • 1939: NIRS first described in the literature
  • 1968: NIRS was first applied to agricultural products by Karl Norris and colleagues
  • 1976: NIRS demonstrated to predict CP, NDF, and ADF of forages (Karl Norris et al.)
  • Mid-1970’s: Shenk and colleagues built a mobile van for on-farm analysis and at hay auctions
  • 1977: Shenk and colleagues enhanced a computer system for the spectro analyser
  • 1978: USDA-ARS establishes a Forage Testing Network to evaluate NIRS for testing forages; in   1989 publishes Agricultural Handbook No. 643 with pages dedicated to NIRS analysis of forage quality.
  • Early 1980’s: mobile van projects by Extension at Pennsylvania State University, University of Minnesota, and University of Wisconsin traveled to farms and hay auctions to test forage quality and balance livestock diets
  • 1983: Infrasoft International LLC formed by John S. Shenk, a software company that became the standard format used for NIRS analysis
  • 1987: University of Minnesota project to review lab variation in NIRS analysis
  • 1990-1991: Pilot evaluation of networked NIRS instruments by Minnesota and Wisconsin Laboratory Extension project with John S. Shenk
  • 1992: A steering committee was developed to organize the NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium; at this time the goals were to standardize instruments, match instrumentation and software, and develop standard operating procedures for users.  The mission statement was: The NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium is dedicated to increasing the accuracy and knowledge of NIRS forage testing.
  • 1998: The NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium was incorporated in Minnesota, bylaws adopted, and a Board of Directors established.
  • 2002: The NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium was established as a tax exempt, non-profit organization under section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • 2002 to present: the NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium adopted the informal initialism NIRSC and established the organizational committee structure to address projects and divide work areas. In 2009 the NIRSC adopted a revised Mission (The NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium leads the industry in unifying knowledge, accuracy, and application of NIRS technology.) and established a Vision (The NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium is the leading global association to increase the accuracy and availability of NIRS by supporting its needs in agriculture.).  These future views are what moves us forward today.

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