Buyer’s guide to grass-measuring equipment

There is a range of grass-measuring equipment and software on the market, which means choosing the right one can be a minefield.

Farmers Weekly looked at a range of measuring tools from plate meters to sward sticks to match any budget and has put together this compact guide to help you select the right one for you this spring. 

Read the guide and watch the video below on how to use a plate meter.

See also: Buyer’s guide to brushcutters

EC Bluetooth Plate Meter

EC Bluetooth Plate Meter

Price  From £726-£800 ex. VAT

Key features

  • The Bluetooth Plate Meter comes complete with Android app.
  • The app features multiple farm selection and 200 paddock storage.
  • It has auto paddock recognition and displays individual and average readings.
  • The plate meter features one-piece case design, auto calibration and Bluetooth connection light.

Where you can purchase: See Mole Valley Plus website

AHDB Beef & Lamb Compressed Sward Stick

AHDB Sward Stick

© AHDB

Price  Free

Key features

  • It works like a plate meter with a clipboard acting as the plate and the sward stick acting like the shaft.
  • A clipboard is placed on the grass and gentle pressure is applied. 
  • Where the clipboard edge meets the sward stick (placed vertically on the ground) is the assessment of the pasture cover in the field. 
  • It has five seasons on the stick, the correct one can be selected and the number read off.
  • A video is available to watch on YouTube.

Where you can purchase:  Email AHDB or telephone 024 7647 8834 

Electronic Grassland Plate Meter Jenquip EC09Jenquip EC09 electronic grass measuring tool

Price  £435 ex. VAT

Key features

  • The Electronic Grassland Plate Meter Jenquip EC09 automatically counts and provides average height or cover (kg DM/ha) readings.
  • This is the standard Jenquip Plate Meter that has been redesigned to be more robust.
  • It includes: Jenquip Plate Meter EC09,  Electronic counter,  Pasture Manager software
  • A carry case is also available.

Where you can purchase: See the Kinshay website or telephone 01458 851555

Manual Rising Plate Meter

Price  £325 ex. VAT

© Kingshay

Key features

  • An accurate, robust and easy-to-use rising plate pasture meter for measuring pasture cover in grass paddocks.
  • The unique folding handle design and removable plate also make the Filip’s Manual Folding Plate Meter easy to transport, store and carry between paddocks.
  • Kits to convert manual plate meters to electronic are also available.

Where you can purchase: See the Kinshay website or telephone 01458 851555

Video: How to use a plate meter

Senior beef and sheep scientist at AHDB Beef and Lamb Dr Liz Genever guides you through how to use a plate meter in a short “how to” video, in which she details how to set up the kit and how to take measurements. Watch the video now.

 

 

Aghub F200 Plate Meter

Aghub F200

Price  From £450.00 ex. VAT

Key features

  • The F200 plate meter makes grass measurement easy.
  • It instantly calculates kg DM/Ha, as you plonk the paddock, and average height.
  • For even greater efficiency, enter measurements to free P-Plus software (USB upload for F300/400 models) provides the grazing wedge and builds paddock history.

Where you can purchase: See the Agricultural Supply Services website

Agriworks Rapid Plate MeterPrice  From £2,650.00 ex. VAT

Key features

  • Rapid Plate Meter RPM20 + Bluetooth smartphone app – easy to download to Agrinet (or similar programmes).
  • Mounted on quad or pick-up drawbar, it speeds up grass measurement for larger farms – 10-22kph.
  • Saves valuable time compared to operator cost.
  • Provides accurate measurement across all terrains, ideal for dairy and beef and sheep farmers. Easily detachable after use.
  • Geolocation also available –  EC20 Plate Meter uses same Bluetooth operation.

Where you can purchase: See the Agricultural Supply Services website

Grasshopper by True North Technologies

Grasshopper by True North Technologies

Price  £835 ex. VAT.

Key features

  • A rising plate meter with +/- 1mm accuracy; dedicated GPS engine, paddock and farm mapping function; drop-by-drop recording.
  • Outputs: farm map; paddock DM/ha; total or available cover; paddock ‘wedge’; date and time of cover; temperature.
  • Bluetooth connection to phone/tablet android and iOS app; automatic upload to Agrinet or other database/management system via data/wi-fi.
  • Does not require network data coverage while in paddock use.
  • Lightweight: < 1.75kg.
  •  5-hour battery life, rechargeable. 
  • Independently validated algorithms.

Where you can purchase: See the True North Technologies website

Grassland and Muck

This year’s Grassland and Muck event, taking place on 24-25 May, at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, contains a wealth of information on managing grazed grass.

For the first time ever, the show will feature a live rotational grazing demonstration on a herbal ley, with ideas for temporary fencing.

Jon Telfer form Yara will also detail how simple measuring can help farmer’s identify the key to producing more, better-quality grass in the Production from Grass forums.

Plus, if you are interested in finding out some more about grass-measuring equipment then all the companies/organisations detailed above will be at the event. Find out more at grasslandevent.co.uk