• (02) 6772 9123
  • mail@snelandcare.org.au

    Latest News

    Estimating Herbage Mass

    Picture1 320pixelHow accurate are our visual estimates of herbage mass? Are you worried about how much feed you have available, as conditions dry?

    “Uncertainty about estimating herbage mass (pasture availability) can undermine confidence in the feed budgeting process, and that’s not warranted”, says University of New England pasture coach Jaimi-lee Edwards. 

    “It’s normal to feel unsure about estimating herbage mass, especially when there are higher tussocks interspersed with shorter pasture,” Jaimi-lee says.

    She said “Using pasture height and estimates of pasture density is a proven method for ensuring those estimates are good enough for feed budgeting purposes.”

    During the third round of coaching sessions held as part of the Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes Grants Program, pasture height was measured then cut to ground using a 50cm square quadrat.

    On average for the 20 paddocks measured across the New England, there was about 350kg dry matter/ha for every centimetre of pasture height. “An average pasture height of 6cm would equate to 2,100kg dry matter/ha of herbage mass,” Jaimi-lee explains.

    “When measuring pasture height, we don’t measure to the very tops of the stems but rather to the average height of the leaves (green or dead)”, she said.

    Members of the coaching groups enter these numbers, along with information about pasture quality, livestock and climate into their Ag360 accounts (you can create a free account at www.ag360.com.au), which then gives six monthly forecasts of herbage mass.

    “These pasture forecasts generated by Ag360 are a complete feed budgeting service done for you’, said Jaimi-lee.

    This project received funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

    Our Proud Supporters

    e-News Sign-up

    Become a member to receive our eNews to stay abreast of upcoming landcare opportunities.
    Membership is free and you can unsubscribe anytime.
    Sign Up here

    Connect with us

    EOI Form

    Do you have a project that could benefit from a grant? Would you neighbours like to particpate?

    Our Landcare Coordinator can help develop project ideas, action plan next steps, and source funding!

    Tell us about it using our

    Expression of Interest Form