Auteur: Schori F.
Jaar van uitgifte: 2015
Pasture-based production systems are economically interesting, but only if grown herbage is efficiently used. The sward surface height (SSH) and the herbage mass (HM) are appropriate indicators to use in checking pasture management and thereby improving the output of milk and meat per hectare (ha). Because farms are becoming larger, the periodic measurement of SSH with a rising plate meter takes more and more time. Devices towed by small vehicles, such as the C-DAX Pasturemeter (PM), could reduce the workload significantly if the measurements are carried out correctly. To verify the estimation accuracy of the PM as compared to an electronic rising plate meter, the SSH of 252 strips (each approximately 8 m2) and 187 paddock diagonals on multi-species pastures of two farms were measured. Subsequently, the strips were cut, and the harvested biomass was weighed. The dry matter (DM) of a subsample of the biomass was determined to calculate the HM in kg DM ha‑1 over 49 mm. Because the measuring principles of the two devices are different, equations were created for the conversion of SSH. Furthermore, regressions were developed to estimate the HM based on the SSH. With the two devices, HM estimations of similar quality were obtained.