Auteur: McSweeney D., Foley C., Halton P. and O’Brien B.
Jaar van uitgifte: 2015
Irish and European pasture-based systems of farming rely upon precise grass measurement and allocation to (1) achieve optimal economic return, as grazed grass is the cheapest feed source, and (2) to maintain the regrowth of high quality grass in each subsequent grazing. On farms implementing an intensive grazing system, grass management is usually carried out by subjective visual measurement and intuitive decision-making. To add objectivity to this process an automated grass measurement tool has been developed which will increase the precision of grass measurement and allocation for pasture-based systems of farming. The aim of this study was to calibrate this tool, to provide a decision support tool (DST) for farmers capable of precise grass height measurement with global positioning system location information. The operation of the DST involves the use of a micro-sonic sensor that finds the distance from a module, placed on the shaft of a rising plate meter, to the plate, by recording the time difference between the transmission and its reflective return from the plate. The results of this study indicate that the absolute height measurement of the DST is similar to that of a ‘gold-standard’ rising plate meter.