Falling plate meter


An accurate, robust and easy-to-use rising plate pasture meter for measuring pasture cover in grass paddocks.

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An accurate, robust and easy-to-use rising plate pasture meter for measuring pasture cover in grass paddocks. The unique folding handle design and removable plate also make the Jenquip Manual Folding Plate Meter easy to transport, store and carry between paddocks.

The hand-calibrated aluminium plate produces highly repeatable results for accuracy that’s second only to cutting, drying and weighing pasture samples, a method that’s impractical on-farm. The result is a series of accurate measurements of grass height that also accounts for any variation in pasture density.

Two simple counters total the meter readings taken and count the number of individual readings, allowing quick and easy calculation of an average reading for each paddock.

A comprehensive instruction handbook is included with each Manual Folding Plate Meter.


  • Accurate measurement — second only to cutting, drying and weighing pasture samples.
  • Measurement range — 0-250mm of compressed pasture height (0-400mm with optional Extended Shaft).
  • Folding handle — for easy transport and storage.
  • Simple to use — cumulative pasture counter automatically totals pasture height readings.
  • Hand-calibrated — ensures readings taken by all Jenquip Folding Plate Meters are comparable.
  • Repairable — without changing reading accuracy, allowing new results to be compared to old.
  • Reliable — high quality materials and accurate manufacturing ensure reliability and long service life.
  • Adjustable — sample counter position can be adjusted to suit individual preferences.


Technical Data

How to use the Jenquip Electronic Folding Plate Meter
Prior to measuring grass cover, enter or select the required pasture cover calculation formula (examples can be found on the Feed Budget Cycle page).

On entering a new paddock, zero the EC-10 Electronic Plate Counter. The Plate Meter is lowered vertically onto the grass, with the shaft dropping through to rest on the ground, leaving the plate supported by the grass.

The area and weight of the plate have been carefully calibrated for accuracy, and the taller and denser the grass, the further off the ground the plate rests. Grooves on the handle allow combined grass height and density to be measured in ½ centimetre intervals ( ‘clicks’).
The EC-10 Electronic Plate Counter will record the position of the plate relative to the ground in centimetres, instantly displaying the result in terms of grass height and calculated pasture cover.

Walk across the paddock, taking typically 30 to 50 sample readings. At the end of the paddock the EC-10 Electronic Plate Counter will display average height and pasture cover values which should be noted before moving on to the next paddock. It can also display the number of samples taken and average height.

Zero the EC-10 Electronic Plate Counter and repeat the process for each paddock being measured.

Example pasture cover equations for entering into the EC-10 Electronic Plate Counter can be found in the handbook or on the Feed Budget Cycle page. The pasture cover figures can be entered into the supplied Jenquip Pasture Management Software to calculate available pasture dry matter.

Rising plate pasture meters have been developed over a number of years to be simple, effective yet reliable. They are second only to cutting drying and weighing pasture for accuracy as they allow accurately for various pasture densities. However to retain this accuracy and ensure many years of trouble free use a little maintenance is recommended.

Before Use
Ensure the bottom plastic is fixed firmly to the black slide tube. It will not operate correctly if it is loose.
When fitting or removing the plate it is easier if the slide tube is moved along the grooved rod a little. When turning the plate hold onto the bottom black plastic boss adjacent to the plate – not the tube or the electronic counter! If you hold onto the counter and for any reason excess force is used (i.e. turning the wrong way), then the counter could be dislodged from its mounts or the bond between the black tube and bottom plastic could be broken.
After unfolding the meter and assembling the plate onto it, move the plate up and down a few times to ensure no binding occurs. If its movement is restricted (e.g. there are tight spots) the reason must be found and cured before the meter is used.

After Use
We have some sad examples returned to us for repair. The worst have been subject to chemicals —often fertiliser, maybe out of the paddock, water troughs or in the shed. If you suspect chemicals or other contaminants have got to the meter a good wash in fresh water and subsequent dry out is required.
Remove the plate and wash it clean. Mud or extra weight on the plate is undesirable.
Wash / wipe and dry the area around the bottom of the meter. Move the sliding tube assembly fully up so that all dirt and accumulated grass can be wiped or washed away especially around the lower part of the grooving on the shaft.
Drying is important as a layer of liquid (even lubricant) between the grooved shaft and the slide tube can also cause binding. Move the slide tube fully up to dry (and place in the sun if possible) and a day or so later move the slide tube fully down so other areas can dry.
Occasionally, maybe every second month, move the slide tube up and apply light oil (CRC, WD40 or similar) to the grooved rod. Wipe all excess oil off.
Apply some dry lubricant or light oil to the hinge assembly and to the inside of the hinge lock tube. Store the meter in its folded position.
These are precision meters — look after them.
The other important thing is the operator’s manual — it contains a wealth of information on all aspects of feed budgeting and the use of a rising plate pasture meter, including the various formulas or equations that can be used. At Jenquip, we often get calls from operators wanting to know about the formulas — it’s all in the operator’s manual.
Contact us if you need a replacement operator’s manual sent, or download a copy from the Support page. Take care to order / download the correct operator’s manual for the model of plate meter you are using.

  • Troubleshooting
    Abnormally high or inconsistent results
  • Activate the top sample counter a few times to ensure it counts only 1 each time it is pushed. Over a period of time the top counter can dry out and record several counts at each activation.
    • If this is the case some light penetrating oil (CRC, WD40 or similar) should be applied to the counter, either through the hole in the casing or preferably by stripping the counter apart (it may be safer to return the counter to Jenquip for this servicing! ).
    • Check after several activations to ensure the counter is again counting correctly.
  • High results
    • Check your technique to ensure you are not ‘rolling’ the meter. The meter should always be placed on the ground at 90 degrees to it. This can easily be achieved while walking especially if it has a ball knob as a handle.
  • Low results:
    • Check
      • Cog worn or loose on the shaft.
      • Meter plate not running freely:
        • Check
          • Alloy shaft is bent.
          • Grass or soil build-up inside the black tube.
          • Grooves on alloy shaft have become filled with grass or soil.


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Extra Info / articles
The Feed Budget Cycle how to calculate and formulas
Article http://jenquip.co.nz/support/feed-budget-cycle
Optional extra SOFTWARE


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