Another option to measure pastures is the rising plate meter, which has a built-in counter. To use the rising plate meter, record the beginning number on the counter, make 30 measurements and record the end number. Then subtract the end number from the beginning number and divide that result by the number of measurements to get an average. Multiply this average by a conversion factor (currently 107.04) for cool season grass pastures. Use this number as the total forage dry matter acre and follow the steps outlined for the pasture stick to make the remaining animal use calculations.
“The plate meter is quicker, but the cost of this instrument is about $450, compared to $5 to $7 for the pasture stick,” says Lewandowski.
“It is important for graziers to put some effort into pasture measurement if they want to increase their pasture management skills,” he concludes. “Pasture measurement can help to take some of the guesswork out of allocating pasture forage and it can help to reduce the slope of the learning curve associated with management intensive grazing.”
Source: Ohio State University