Technology is increasingly allowing us to gain a more accurate picture of what is happening on-farm. We can collect data for an area – such as grazing – in multiple ways, allowing us to corroborate data. Advances and accessibility to remote sensing means we don’t even have to be across the entirety of the farm as regularly as otherwise we might.
What is remote sensing?
Remote sensing allows us to detect and monitor physical characteristics or anomalies. This is achieved through creating images or data streams that help us understand what is happening. It is often performed through satellites or 4G technology. For example, monitoring the temperature of the ocean, analysing volcanic activity or monitoring changes to populated areas. It also encompasses other types of technology that can bring you important information without needing to physically be there.
Where is it useful for farming?
In farming, remote sensing is helpful. Without physically needing to traverse every hectare, farmers or ranchers can understand how their land is performing.
It is useful, for example, in measuring grass growth and helping farmers understand grazing days remaining and the amount of dry matter available. If you have started to work with different forage, like clover, lucerne, legumes, etc., it can help you understand the impact that is having compared to general grass.
Our top three solutions:
Based in the United States, Regrow is on a mission to map and monitor sustainable improvements made on-farm.
Regrow uses something called the OpTIS algorithm. The machine-learning system reviews satellite imagery to detect sustainable farming practices. For example, cover-crop adoption or reduction in tillage.
This is really helpful as it means a lesser need for on-the-ground verification. The satellite data is updated every three to five days, which is much quicker than would be possible on-farm in many cases.
To ensure accuracy, Regrow also collects data from ground surveys to verify what their technology is saying. This means Regrow can offer increasingly accurate data as time goes by. At the moment, Regrow reckons it has about a 85-90% accuracy rate.
Ranchers can use the first report to create a baseline of their current practices on their ranch and then monitor any interventions they choose to make. The platform also helps identify the best options for a particular ranch, as every operation is different.
A remote sensing option from Australia, Cibo Labs offers a range of solutions for your farm. Its Pasture Biomass technology uses satellite remote sensing to report on your grazing conditions. It can show you how many grazing days you have left on an area when you combine it with a livestock business management tool, such as AgriWebb.
Or what feed on offer you have and how it compares to last month, last year, etc. Their PastureKey product helps you understand the condition of your land and how your actions are helping it improve. It’s perfect for farms that are wanting to operate using more sustainable business practices. Moreover, the data helps farmers move away from gut-feel or different people monitoring grass growth in slightly different ways. So, you can be more objective about what decisions you are making.
Similar to Cibo Labs, UK-based remote sensing app ruumi helps farmers make better grazing decisions through the insights it provides. It uses multi-spectral satellite data and machine learning to update grass and dry matter readings on a daily basis. This way you can understand grass cover, available feed and grazing days remaining when you combine it with AgriWebb livestock information.
So just using your mobile phone, you can understand when you might want to move or rotate your livestock to a new grazing area. And irrespective of the grazing-style you operate at your farm, it can still show you how much grass you have left for the livestock load in a particular paddock.
The best thing is it is free, so you can get started really quickly and cheaply today. Sign up via a computer, or download the mobile or tablet app from the Google Play or Apple Store. Then register with a few easy clicks.
“I’m ready to join-up all this remote sensing data!”
It is easier than ever to gather data and get brilliant insights into what is happening on your farm. But with all this technology, comes a host of apps for your phone, more login details to remember and no big-picture of how all these insights come together. So how can we ensure that all these data points that can really transform objective decision-making, are in one place?
AgriWebb at the center of your data needs!
The good news is that it is becoming easier to feed your data into one place – and that place is AgriWebb. It is quickly becoming the framework that can hold, not only the livestock-based data insights from your farm or ranch, but other powerful information too.
In addition, AgriWebb is working on integrating more and more of these amazing bits of technology into the AgriWebb portal called the Marketplace. You can then pull data from these sources and see them magically apply to your AgriWebb account. Through centralising your data with livestock information in AgriWebb, these remote sensing options are the most powerful they can be for you and your business. More powerful multi-factorial data, in the palm of your hand. In one place.
Perfect for whether your goal is improving your grazing, the productivity of your animals, or working more efficiently.