Testing grass twice a month for dry matter, ME, protein and other nutrients cost NZ$2500-$3000 (1033-1240) a year, but gave wonderful information, said NZ consultant Peter Gaul.

Samples are taken from two paddocks immediately in front of cows.

Every 10th step, a handful of grass is taken down to 3.5cm.

“I recommend testing regularly for at least a year.

Find the link between your management and subsequent pasture quality,” he said.

“Standard book values have been historically accepted and quoted by consultants, but don’t reflect today’s changes in management.

We see differences between paddocks that have been laxly and properly grazed.