Journal article

Using multispectral data from an unmanned aerial system to estimate pasture depletion during grazing

PS Alvarez-Hess, AL Thomson, SB Karunaratne, ML Douglas, MM Wright, JW Heard, JL Jacobs, EM Morse-McNabb, WJ Wales, MJ Auldist



Accurate measurement of pasture depletion and, therefore, dry matter intake (DMI) is fundamental in both research and commercial settings for understanding the behaviour and nutrition of grazing animals. Remote sensing technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) equipped with sensors have been used to estimate biomass of crops and un-grazed pastures. The aim of the experiment reported here was to develop and validate empirical models to estimate pasture depletion in paddocks while cattle are grazing using an UAV-borne multispectral sensor with a rising plate meter measurements as the reference data. Data were collected in winter and spring with 24 different cows used in each period a..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to G. Morris, D. Mapleson, A. McDonald, L. Dorling, D. Wilson, C. Parker, D. Stayches, C. Paynter, A. Copland, L. Burns, M. Summerfield, K. Hoffman, T. Hookey, B. Ribaux, S. Bourchier and DJPR Ellinbank farm staff for assistance with cow feeding and husbandry. This research was funded by Agriculture Victoria, Dairy Australia, and the Gardiner Foundation.