Researchers Find Decline in Pasture Height Reduces Forage Quality

Researchers found that it’s possible to use a handheld near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) device to measure nutrients in pasture. The research was published in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. Tests from a University of Nottingham farm showed that overgrazing pasture to below 7cm significantly reduces the amount of protein and digestibility of the grassland. Lead author of this study Matt Bell notes, “Our study confirms that this new hand-held NIRS technology can be used to inform better grassland management decision making and the utilization of pastures for sustainable production.” He added, “Using this new method of checking nutrient levels, we show that over-grazing or over-harvesting pastures will significantly reduce protein levels and its digestibility, which will be detrimental to the productivity of the land.”