The rapid pasture meter uses light and optical sensors to record 200 pasture height measurements per second and averages those readings to represent a data point on a map of the paddock. FarmKeeper software aids with GPS mapping of paddocks and pastures, and recording and analyzing the pasture measurements. The rapid pasture meter must use a calibration equation to accurately measure the forage in a pasture.
Accurate estimation of pasture forage mass is essential for pasture-based dairy farms in the United States and around the world. Electronic rising plate meters and rapid pasture meters have been developed and evaluated in New Zealand and have shown similar dry matter accuracies from pasture forage mass. Grazing dairy producers in the United States have these technologies available to them to more accurately determine pasture forage mass, and thus improve the profitability of their dairy operation.
These technologies will be discussed at the Organic Dairy Day on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, MN. For more information on the Organic Dairy Day program, please contact Brad Heins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-589-1711.