You Can't Manage What You Don't Measure!
Grazed grass is the cheapest animal feed available to Irish farmers, in order to manage it successfully, to underpin profitability, it needs to be measured. PastureBase Ireland is the grass measuring software used to record your farms grass growing performance and provide real time advice to make grassland management decisions. All the Grassland Farmers of the Year 2017 are grass measuring weekly and even twice weekly using PastureBase during the grass growing season to ensure quality grass in front of their animals and take out strong paddocks by conserving them as high quality silage bales, this improves their farm's profitability. It also allows them identify their worst paddocks for reseeding. See Why Measure Grass for even more benefits!
Please click onto PastureBase Ireland for more information on Measuring Grass.
Watch Percy Mills, dairy farmer from Kildare, explain why he grass measures and how he uses this information to manage his farm better.
Methods of Measuring Grass
Measuring grass and using PastureBase to record the data is not difficult once you know how. Grass can be measured in KgDM/Ha (Kilograms Dry Matter per Hectare) or in cm (centimetres). Every 1cm has approximately 250kgDm/Ha for cattle farms or 350kgDM/Ha for sheep farms (mixed cattle and sheep farms are around 300kgDM/Ha). We use 4cm residuals when estimating grass covers as that is the height animals should graze to, so if the sward height on a cattle farm is 10cm then 10-4=6cm or 1500kgDm/Ha which should be grazed.
The main points when measuring are to get a good representation of the paddock's grass cover and measure at least once per week during the grass growing season. To help us get a good representation there are specialised tools we can use; the quadrant and shears, the platemeter, the grasshopper and the sward stick. Click How to Measure Grass for more information on how to use them.
Hear how Percy Mills is using Grassland Management and PastureBase Ireland to optimise profitability on his dairy farm.