Automated Sward Stick

Price: NZ$380.00

(excl. GST; free shipping within NZ)

Note: NZ delivery typically within a week.

A quick and accurate tool for measuring pasture height (not density) that’s ideal for monitoring paddocks where grazing livestock are set stocked, can be used on hill country.

Grass height measurement is extremely simple and fast, without the need for recording individual readings or bending down. Two simple counters total the grass height measurements taken and count the number of individual readings, allowing quick and easy calculation of an average reading for each paddock.

The high quality design and construction produces highly repeatable results, with grass height measured as the difference between travel of the slide tube from the top of the shaft and total travel to ground level.

The top counter is zeroed before taking measurements in the next paddock.

For details of how to calculate average pasture height from the Automated Sward Stick measurements, along with example target sward heights for different grazing livestock, visit the How it works tab.

  • Ideal for set-stocking — whether for cattle, sheep or deer.

  • Fast measurement — no bending down or noting of individual readings.

  • Automated — accumulates measurements automatically across the paddock.

  • Versatile — suitable for use on hill country or pugged ground.

  • Non-destructive — no damage to the sward or flattened grass.

  • Measurement range — covers measurement of sward height up to 400mm. Optional 300-700mm, 500-900mm or 400-800mm.

  • Robust and reliable — simple operation, plus high quality design and construction.

The Automated Sward Stick measures height from the top of the shaft down to the sward. The difference between the travel of the slide tube and the total length of travel to ground level is the height of the sward.

On entering a new paddock, record the start reading from the bottom counter and zero the top counter. Proceed across the paddock, taking approximately 30-50 readings, with the actual number of readings recorded using the top counter. Record the final reading from the bottom counter.

A formula is then used to convert the readings to average sward surface height for the paddock:

  1. (Initial bottom counter no. – Final bottom counter no. ) / Top counter no. = A

  2. 80 – A = B (For 400mm (40cm) or 80½cm on standard model)

  3. B ÷ 2 = Average sward height (cm)

Where an extension or accessory sight glass is used in step 2, the 80 is changed to maximum measuring height in cm x 2 (as it measures in ½cm increments).

Example target sward surface heights for grazing cattle

Target sward surface height

Spring to early summer


Late summer to autumn


Lactation — maintenance


Lactation — maintenance


Example target sward surface heights for ewes

Target sward surface height

Dry ewes


Flushing ewes


Late pregnancy — winter lambing


Late pregnancy — spring lambing




Example target sward surface heights for lambs post-weaning

Target sward surface height





The Automated Sward Stick can be returned to Jenquip for service or repair. Please include your return address and phone number.

Please email us for a quote on any spare parts you may require.

The following items are available at extra cost:

  • Extra Sight Glass

    An extra sight glass can be clipped onto the side of the Automated Sward Stick at either 300 or 500mm positions. These allow height measurements from 0-400mm, 300–700mm or 500–900mm but not all at the same time. When changing from one sight glass position to another it must be noted for the calculations.

    Price: $TBC (excl. GST; free shipping within NZ)

  • 400mm Extension

    Supplied from the factory or as a kit set. By fitting a special adapter to the bottom of the Automated Sward Stick, a 400mm extension can be fitted. This allows measurements from 400 to 800mm.

    Price: $TBC (excl. GST; free shipping within NZ)