Monday, May 14, 2012

What Is the Ohio Pasture Measurement Project?

There are many good reasons why graziers should estimate the amount of forage in their pastures. Evaluating, measuring and observing pasture growth can give valuable information during a grazing season to help producers make management decisions. Using pasture growth measurements can help graziers decide to slow or speed up the grazing system, change stocking density, consider planting alternative forages or fertilize before they need the forage and when there is adequate soil moisture to still grow more forage. Measurement is the first step to improvement.  
The Ohio Pasture Measurement Project was started in 2005 an attempt to help producers understand the value of timely measurement of their forages.
  1. Provide a source of current, objective information on the relative performance of forages growing in Ohio accessible to producers across the state.
  2. Demonstrate the use of pasture measurement/monitoring to aid in the management of grazing.
  • Graziers from across Ohio measure at least one pasture field each week during the grazing season.
  • Measurements are taken before and after grazing or clipping of that field.
  • Measurements are taken with a commercially available rising plate meter.
Other information:

Measuring forage as part of rotational grazing planning by Alisa Raty, in the April 2012 issue of Progressive Forage Grower Magazine

"Project Treats Pastures as Feed" by Gail Keck, in the October 2010 edition of the Ohio Farmer

Using Pasture Measurement to Improve Your Management an OSU Factsheet about how pasture measurements could be used to make management decisions.

 OSU Agronomic Crops Team On-Farm Research Reports: yearly summary of the project for  2010 or  2011