Hefin Llwyd, CF Fertilisers Advisor, narrates the best use of electronic platemeters.
A platemeter works to provide an accurate way to measure and assess field covers. Looking at the grass sward it measures both height and density to give an average height throughout the field. Taking this information the farmer can then put together a more precise grazing plan.
“The basic rule is that you want to start grazing at around 2,800–3,000 kg DM/ha and bring animals out at around 1,500. If you go much below 1,500 then you’ll end up with much slower regrowth as the grass is recovering using roots rather than photosynthesis.”
According to Hefin, when using the platemeter, there are a few rudimentary rules you need to follow to get a representative sample. “Walk the field in a W pattern and make sure you take a mixture of longer and shorter patches of grass that reflect the picture across the field.”
Hefin concludes, “I always found it a very useful tool because you know how much grass you have and you can work out how quickly it’s growing so it doesn’t only help you plan grazing but things like fertiliser and reseeding as well.”
How to use a platemeter