Use of pasture botanical composition data on the accuracy of satellite pasture biomass estimates

  • Grant P.S. Anderson Livestock Improvement Corporation
  • Mitchell Rawlings Livestock Improvement Corporation
  • Zoe Lunniss Livestock Improvement Corporation
  • Lorna McNaughton Livestock Improvement Corporation
  • Laura Rossi Dairy New Zealand
  • Cathal Wims DairyNZ
  • Chris Roach Dairy New Zealand
  • Cameron I. Ludemann DairyNZ

Abstract

Pasture biomass estimates are valuable to farmers, and satellite pasture biomass estimates can potentially provide the required data for less time and labour. However, the accuracy of satellite estimates of pasture biomass can be affected by the botanical composition of the pasture. In this study, botanical composition data were combined in linear regression models and a general additive model with on-farm and satellite pasture biomass estimates to quantify the increase in predictive power from including botanical composition data. The inclusion of botanical composition data improved the accuracy (model R2) of the satellite pasture biomass estimation; the smallest increase was 0.035 (from 0.725 to 0.760) and the largest increase was 0.111 (from 0.599 to 0.710).
Improving the accuracy of satellite estimations of pasture biomass will allow farmers to make more timely and accurate grazing management decisions.

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Published
2019-10-31
Section
Vol 81 (2019)