Satellite-based system to monitor grass growth on dairy farms

Geospatial data analytics company Rezatec has launched a satellite-based grass management and monitoring service for dairy farms.

The company said its Grass SAT service could provide automated daily updates of grass cover in each paddock.

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It added that the system could cut costs by reducing the need for time-consuming visual assessments or frequent measurements with a plate meter.

The system uses a grass growth model, fed with regularly updated information derived from satellite imagery.

The data is then presented online as a grazing wedge, with grass cover sorted from highest to lowest.

Among its other features, the system can provide data on the number of grazing days per paddock, as well as a colour-coded map of the farm presenting volumes and distribution of grass available.

Rezatec says the service is easy to use and allows dairy producers to draw their paddocks within a digital map. Farmers can then include herd information before the software generates the grass wedge and daily cover measurements.

With the basic data submitted, ongoing information such as paddock grazing or cutting can be fed into the model, which re-evaluates the grass cover analytics.

It is also possible to pull out paddocks for silage production, as well as run multiple wedges, if required.

One dairy farmer who is trying out Grass SAT is Cheshire-based John Brocklehurst.

“Using as much grazed grass as possible is a top-priority KPI for our business and I hope Grass SAT will provide me with more frequent grass measurements of the whole farm without having to walk it,” said Mr Brocklehurst.

“The data is already informing my day-to-day grazing management and, moving forward, I hope to identify areas of the farm that are less productive and improve them, as well as allocating grass to the cows more efficiently.”