This paper reports on an interactive, user-friendly microcomputer based pasture production model which provides pasture growth rate information for farmers and advisers. The model (GRASS) describes the production of perennial ryegrass and white clover pastures in terms of simplified major processes. The model not only allows for assessments of historic and current (daily) growth rates, but can also make rapid analyses of future pasture growth rates. This predictive ability is of major importance in many management decisions. The model also allows for on-site calibration. It is intended to be used on individual farms and any management can be simulated. This model overcomes the limitations of pasture growth data collected at research stations over a limited number of years using standard cutting techniques at sites which are often not representative of the climate and soil types on a particular farm. Examples of potential uses for the model are given. It is concluded that an explanatory low resolution model appears to be a promising approach for more sophisticated feed planning and management decisions.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 47, , 21-23, 1987
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