Remote sensing technology to support pastoral land management

  • New free online Pastoral Remote Sensing resource now available
  • Pastoralists supported to boost land management in Western Australia’s rangelands
  • Tool will assist land managers to optimise productivity and sustainability of the land 
  • Western Australian pastoralists now have access to a new remote sensing tool to assist stock and land management strategies to boost sustainable production and rangeland condition.

    The Pastoral Remote Sensing tool, developed by Landgate in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, allows pastoralists to make more informed, timely management decisions in response to seasonal variability.

    The free online resource is based on satellite imagery, sourced from NASA and the Copernicus Australasia Regional Data Hub, and provides current and historical estimates of total green biomass, vegetation cover and rainfall for every pastoral lease in WA.

    Pastoralists can use the modelled information to guide management decisions and on-ground monitoring and measurement.

    The information allows pastoralists to compare ground cover condition and observe seasonal trends so they can devise and adjust land management strategies, such as feed budgets and stocking rates to align with the productive capacity of the rangelands.

    The easy to use tool was developed in response to dry seasonal conditions across large parts of the rangelands in 2018 and 2019, when the need for readily available, fit-for-purpose spatial imagery and support tools was identified.

    The adoption and application of the new digital program is being supported by a training package, which is being delivered to consultants, industry service providers, grower groups and department officers.

    The Pastoral Remote Sensing tool can be accessed via https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/pastoral-remote-sensing-tool 

    As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

    “The Pastoral Remote Sensing tool is an invaluable addition to pastoralists’ toolkits, providing a wealth of information, including total green biomass, fractional ground cover, total dry matter, and cumulative rainfall.

    “This new resource will be particularly useful in dry seasons, informing crucial stock and land management decisions to best manage the condition of both the animals and the rangelands.

    “This means pastoralists can be more agile in managing their operations, while optimising the condition of the rangelands according to seasonal variability.”

    As stated by Lands Minister Tony Buti:

    “This is an excellent example of two government agencies working together and leveraging their complementary strengths to ensure the responsible and sustainable management of the State’s unique rangelands for generations to come.

    “By using Landgate’s satellite imagery capabilities and mapping tool expertise and combining that with DPIRD’s ‘on the ground’ knowledge, we have created an effective and much needed tool for pastoralists.”

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