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While measurement of forage mass (FM) is fundamental to evaluating sward productivity, its forage quality determines the value for grazing. Optical sensing devices have varying potential for estimating forage characteristics. Instruments such as the Greenseeker®, which measures normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) have been related to various characteristics, but are confounded with canopy traits (Biewer et al. 2009). Simultaneous readings of NDVI and FM were used to separate their contributions to sward crude protein CP using multiple regression (Moyer et al. 2010).

Relationships in swards of tall fescue (Lolium arundinacium Schreb.) were poorer than in other species, so further spectroscopic study in that species may indicate how estimates of forage quality, specifically CP concentration, might be improved.

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Estimating Crude Protein Concentration of a Grass Sward Using Spectral Measurements

While measurement of forage mass (FM) is fundamental to evaluating sward productivity, its forage quality determines the value for grazing. Optical sensing devices have varying potential for estimating forage characteristics. Instruments such as the Greenseeker®, which measures normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) have been related to various characteristics, but are confounded with canopy traits (Biewer et al. 2009). Simultaneous readings of NDVI and FM were used to separate their contributions to sward crude protein CP using multiple regression (Moyer et al. 2010).

Relationships in swards of tall fescue (Lolium arundinacium Schreb.) were poorer than in other species, so further spectroscopic study in that species may indicate how estimates of forage quality, specifically CP concentration, might be improved.