Quantitative mapping of pasture biomass using satellite imagery
A knowledge of the amount of pasture biomass available in farm paddocks is crucial for improving utilization and productivity in the Australian grazing industry. A method to quantitatively map the biomass of annual pastures under grazing has been developed using the Normalized Difference
Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from high-resolution satellite imagery. Relationships between field-measured pasture biomass and the NDVI were examined for different transects in paddocks under different grazing regimes across three geographically dispersed farm sites. A significant linear
relationship (R2 = 0.84) was observed when the NDVI was regressed against biomass. The slope of the relationship between the NDVI and biomass declined in a highly predictable (R2 = 0.82) exponential form as the growing season progressed and this pattern was consistent across four separate
seasons. This knowledge was used to formulate a reliable model to predict paddock average pasture biomass using the NDVI. The model estimates were validated against observed biomass in the range 500-4000 kilograms of dry matter per hectare (kg DM ha-1) with R2 = 0.85 and a standard error of
315 (kg DM ha-1).
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Document Type: Research Article
CSIRO Livestock Industries, Private Bag No. 5, Wembley, WA, Australia
Department of Earth System Science and Policy, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, USA
Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, 444 Albany Highway, Albany, WA, Australia
Publication date: 2011-05-01
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