Testing hay for annual ryegrass toxicity (ARGT) risk

Page last updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2018 - 2:41pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Hay that contains annual ryegrass may cause annual ryegrass toxicity (ARGT). Hay can be tested for ARGT risk. The test provides a risk rating for toxicity. Submit about one kilogram of hay randomly selected from representative bales.

When buying hay, it is recommended that you ask for a vendor declaration before purchase, and ask if ARGT testing has been done.


A 1kg (approximately) sample of hay is required for testing.

If you have multiple bales, collect a sub-sample from up to 10 bales to make up a total of 1kg. For example, if there are 10 bales, collect approximately 100g hay from each bale to make up 1kg.

To sample the hay bale, take representative ‘grab’ samples from within the bale. Only ryegrass seeds can contain the toxin, however to assess the risk of feeding the hay, include a similar percentage of ryegrass in the sample as present in the hay.

The hay sample/s should be put into a clean plastic bag. Label the sample with your name and, if multiple samples are submitted, label with an identifier such as 'Bales 1 to 10'.


Submit the bagged hay sample to DPIRD Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DDLS) (located at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, South Perth office).

DDLS – Specimen Reception C Block
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, WA
3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth, WA 6151
Email: DDLS@dpird.wa.gov.au

Regional clients can take samples to your local DPIRD regional office.

A laboratory submission form will need to be completed when the samples are dropped off.


The cost of conducting testing for a 1kg hay sample (from up to 10 hay bales) for ARGT risk is $48.00 per sample (GST inclusive) plus a $17.10 (GST inclusive) handling fee per submission. (Note: prices are subject to change at end of financial year.)

More information:

Contact DDLS South Perth  on +61 (0)8 9368 3351.

Note: This information does not apply to certification testing of hay for export overseas or interstate or for ARGT testing of grain, pasture or animal samples.