You can use your Smartphone and a pile of poop to figure out your forage quality!
Using the App is easy:
1. Click on “Create New Record”
2. Allow the app to use your Smartphone’s camera
3. Take a picture of the poop.
4. If you like the picture, click “Use Photo” and if you don’t click “Retake.”
5. When you click “Use Photo” a screen will come up comparing your photo to stock photos. Use your finger to slide from one photo to the next until you find one that most closely matches your photo. The crude protein and digestibility estimates are listed under the stock photo.
6. Click “Save” and then enter a title, pasture name/number and any notes.
7. Click “Submit” and you’re all done.
8. Now you’re back at the home screen. You can choose to “View Existing Records” or click on “Forage Quality Descriptions” to learn more about forage quality based on manure clues.
The app is available for iPhones, iPads and Android phones. If you don’t have one of those, here are pictures and info from Texas A&M’s “Forage Quality Photo Guide” that you can use the old fashioned way:
One last pointer – cows that have been running around or are stressed will have loose droppings. Don’t use those to judge forage quality.
Thanks to Dr. Megan Clayton for the app and to Scott McEldowney of Douglas County for introducing me to it!