Indirect, non-destructive methods for estimating herbage mass on pasture may help growers to better estimate herbage mass and manage the grazing process. The objective of this study was to evaluate two methods for estimating herbage mass on Marandu palisadegrass [Brachiaria brizantha (A. Rich.) Stapf] pastures, over two grazing seasons. The relationships between herbage mass and two indirect, non-destructive measurements (sward surface height - SSH and rising plate meter - RP) were analyzed via regression analysis. Mean determination coefficients (r²) for the regression models were 0.82 and 0.91 for RP and SSH, respectively. Time within season influenced both slope (b) and intercept (a) of the regression models in both methods. The change in model parameters over the course of the seasons suggests the need for frequent model revision and revalidation.
Brachiaria brizantha; sward surface height; herbage allowance; rising plate meter; linear regression