To deliver near real-time information tools at a whole-farm and within-paddock level, that will underpin
tactical and strategic decision making for Australian agricultural businesses.
use of feed resources in the livestock industries of Australia is a major factor
determining farm profitability.
use often results from insufficient information on which to base production decisions
from one season or year to the next.
utilization by sheep and cattle during the growing season is low relative to total pasture
production. In many years total pasture consumption can be as low as
20 to 30 %. That is, producers forego potential production due
to their inability to make informed decisions on the management of their
southern Australia, the environment is characterized by high winter/spring
rainfall and summer/autumn drought. Pasture
that is not utilized before the end of the growing season dries up,
senesces and is available with a greatly reduced nutritive value.
The Pastures from Space program provides estimates of pasture production
during the growing season by means of remote sensing. Satellite data is used to accurately and quantitatively
Biomass or Feed On Offer (FOO) or combined with climate and soil data
is used to
produce Pasture Growth Rate (PGR) estimates.
of PGR and FOO using remote sensing provides temporal and spatial
information on feed resources allowing producers to more effectively
manage their enterprise and potentially raise the productivity and
profitability of their
businesses. It is also possible that an objective measure of the
spatial variation of pasture production will highlight opportunities to
improve the environmental management of the landscape.
Matched with electronic delivery of the information (email or web
based) near real time decisions can be made.
The technology has been widely trialed by Western Australian farmers, where PGR
information is broadcast on ABC Radio and signposted in regional
PGR estimates for Shires in the Southern agricultural or Mediterranean
regions of Australia are now being developed and trialed nationally. This information and subscription is available through Fairport Technologies.
Mediterranean and Temperate agricultural zones of
90% of Australian sheep and lamb flocks
90% of Australian Dairy Cows
and 92% of total milk production
40% of Australian beef cattle
Applicable to other areas after validation eg pastoral.
Partners include the Department of Agriculture
of Western Australia and the
Western Australian Land Information Authority (Landgate).