Estimation of Productivity in Dryland Mediterranean Pastures: Long-Term Field Tests to Calibration and Validation of the Grassmaster II Probe
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Author/sSerrano, João; Shahidian, Shakib; Moral, Francisco; Carvajal Ramírez, Fernando; Marques Da Silva, José
The estimation of pasture productivity is of great interest for the management of animal grazing. The standard method of assessing pasture mass requires great effort and expense to collect enough samples to accurately represent a pasture. This work presents the results of a long-term study to calibrate a Grassmaster II capacitance probe to estimate pasture productivity in two phases: (i) the calibration phase (2007–2018), which included measurements in 1411 sampling points in three parcels; and (ii) the validation phase (2019), which included measurements in 216 sampling points in eight parcels. A regression analysis was performed between the capacitance (CMR) measured by the probe and values of pasture green matter and dry matter (respectively, GM and DM, in kg ha−1). The results showed significant correlations between GM and CMR and between DM and CMR, especially in the early stages of pasture growth cycle. The analysis of the data grouped by classes of pasture moisture content (PMC)...