How Much Grass Do You Have in Your Pasture?

Since we all live in different environments that produce different amounts of forage, here's how you can measure what you've got to help you make good decisions. Thanks to Jim Gerrish and this article from June of 2015! A pasture inventory provides an assessment of what you have available in your pastures at a given point in time. Just like a retail sales business conducts periodic inventories to know what they have on the shelf to sell, any grazing farm or ranch should know what they have available in the pastures as standing feed. We generally try to conduct an inventory every two weeks on irrigated or high natural rainfall pastures and monthly on rangeland. The basic process is to look at every pasture and come up with a measure or estimate of available feed in that pasture. In my mind there are three ways of doing the inventory. Each method evolved out of the previous approach. I will briefly outline each method. The first approach is to actually try to measure the dry matter yield of forage per acre through either clipping forage or some other non-destructive method such as grazing stick, rising plate, or one of the electronic or digital tools. While many grazing researchers believe this to be the most accurate method, I would argue that it is not the most meaningful. The process is also cumbersome and contains many potential sources of

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