A team of academics from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Natural Sciences led by Prof. Mike Jones & Dr Matt Saunders have recently completed three months of initial field testing on Monduff Farm using the new GrassOmeter from Monford AG Systems Ltd. Grass samples were cut using a quadrat, dried and weighed to ascertain the dry matter content and compared to the Grassometer, a simple sward stick and a platemeter which up until now has been the standard method for measuring grass. This initial work has, as reported by TCD, revealed two very interesting trends.
“First, the correlation between grass height and dry matter yield is much greater using the GrassOmeter, indicating better prediction of dry matter yield using the GrassOmeter.
Second, based on calibrated estimates of dry matter yield, the limitations of a platemeter to estimate dry matter yield from height become more apparent, with dry matter yield underestimated at low canopy heights (0-5cm) and overestimated at canopy heights of 8cm and above.”
The GrassOmeter brings 21st century technology to grassland management. Simple to use, precise & now demonstrably accurate. The GrassOmeter’s patented technologies use four ultrasound sensors linked to a nine-point orientation sensor to measure both grass height and the topography of the terrain for greater accuracy. This has significant implications for farm based management of grass production.
The Grassometer is a complete Map Measure & Manage System. You set up the farm on the web, measure your paddocks and instantly share the results from your phone. The GrassOmeter collects grass height data which is used to determine dry matter yield, thereby assisting farmers to sustainably manage their resources through greater efficiency.
New data gathering tools like the GrassOmeter will become increasingly important in the future. The possibility of accurate measurement afforded by the GrassOmeter opens up a world of opportunity. Better management means more and better grass for the cow to eat; less fertiliser use; less money spent on expensive feedstuffs; greater sustainability and greater profitability for the farmer.
TCD and Monford AG now plan to continue testing the GrassOmeter, working with other research bodies, with the goal of even higher biomass accuracy predictions for alternative grassland species / mixtures and management regimes, while the first production run of GrassOmeters is underway. Future developments will include sensors to determine plant health and grass quality.