How To Sample Your Pasture

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Feed test results are only as good as the sample submitted! You can only make the right decision if you have all the information.

 

There are a few important reasons to test your pasture:

  1. Is my pasture good enough to feed my stock?
  2. Is my pasture as good as I am budgeting?
  3. Should I silage paddock 1 or Paddock 2?
  4. Will this paddock make poor, average or very good hay/silage?

 

Here is a guide on an accurate way to collect your pasture sample for testing.

  1. Start at corner of paddock and walk diagonally across through the
    paddock stopping every few steps to take a sample.
  2. You should collect around 20/30 small
    grabs, representing what livestock will
    be eating. (ie – not patches with
    thistles, manure)
  3. Remove at grazing height (cattle 5cm above ground)
  4. Aim to represent the actual species composition, such as if there is a mix of clover and rye.
  5. If you get ½ way across the paddock and you find the bag is filling too quickly, take more steps between each sample location to ensure the whole paddock is covered
  6. Remove all excess air out of sample bag, this is important as it prevents decomposition and loss of nitrogen and non-structural carbohydrates.
  7. If not sending samples straight away store in fridge. Always send fresh pasture or any fresh sample such as silage via express post. Do not rely on regular post
  8. Do not send fresh samples towards the end of the week. Keep in fridge over the weekend and express post on Monday.

 

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