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By: Charlie Forst
Published: 2002-01-01


TN 86 Title Picture

This simple forage cutter provides a mechanism to chop tough grasses or other forages to make them more palatable and digestible for livestock. This results in more efficient food conversion for animals and reduced wastage. It can also be used to chop materials for compost, silage, vermiculture, etc.


  •  Base for cutter (e.g. table)
  •  Strong machete
  •  Two anvils (ideally these will be angle iron material;
      you can also use 2 in (5 cm) by 4 in (10 cm) lumber
  •  Bolt or pin on which to hinge machete


TN 86 Figure 1Figure 1: Sketch of a Forage Cutter

Use the materials and construction design that is most practical for the local conditions. Make the construction very sturdy and use a strong machete for the cutter. The anvils, which are placed parallel to the machete, are ideally angle iron material. However, 5 cm by 10 cm lumber will suffice. A hole to accept a bolt or pin on which the machete will hinge must be made in the more broad dimension of the blade some distance from the point of the blade. The anvils must be mounted parallel and tightly together, allowing a space only slightly wider than the thickness of the blade, so that the blade can easily pass between them.

To operate the cutter, place two or three stalks of forage on the table at right angles to the machete.  With one hand, move the forage across the anvils sufficiently to make the length of cut desired. Operate the machete with your other hand.

Cite this article as:

Forst, C. 2002. Forage Cutter. ECHO Technical Note no. 86.