Using a plate meter

Plate meters

There are two types of plate meter; the mechanical and the electronic. Both work in the same way and provide an accurate and convenient way to measure and assess field covers. Most plate meters now sold are the electronic version.

The plate meter measures both height and density of the sward. This average height of the paddock is measured in compressed centimetres and then converted into kilos of dry matter per hectare via an equation. The method generally used in the UK is x 125 + 640. 

An example this is how it works; the average rising plate meter reading of a particular field measures 6.68. So 6.68 x 125 + 640 = 1475, so the cover is 1475kg of dry matter per hectare.