Measuring and recording sward height across your Environmental Stewardship Program site(s) is an obligation under your contract but has many other benefits. Measuring and recording sward height can also allow you to better manage and utilise your pastures.
How do I measure sward height?
If you undertake grazing, please record sward height at the end of your grazing periods. If you do not undertake grazing, then record sward height at the same time that you record an estimate of ground cover percentage and take the photo-point photograph for this site. Please ensure that this is done at the same time each year.
Find a spot on your site that is representative of the site in general, taking care to avoid gateways, fence lines etc. You can use either a ruler or eyeball a measurement of the sward height.
- If you’re using a measuring tool, place the base of your measuring tool on the surface of the soil.
- Slide your thumb down the measuring tool until you touch the top of the leaf blade, taking care to not measure the stems or flower heads.
- Record the measurement.