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Remote sensing of intensively managed dairy pastures in New Zealand for near real-time delivery: Combining spectral and spatial information with knowledge of farming management

Handcock, R.N., Mata, G. and Ota, N. (2011) Remote sensing of intensively managed dairy pastures in New Zealand for near real-time delivery: Combining spectral and spatial information with knowledge of farming management. In: 7th Symposium of the International Society on Digital Earth (ISDE7) joint with WALIS Forum, 23 - 25 August 2011, Perth, W.A.

Abstract

Remote sensing to monitor feed resources in intensively managed dairy systems differs from remote sensing of other vegetation such as annual crops or forestry. This is because changes in the spectral response of individual paddocks on any day results from the combination of on-farm practices, such as rotational grazing, and changes in the phenology and morphology of the perennial pastures over the season. These factors result in different proportions of non-photosynthetic vegetation in the pasture understory contributing to the observed spectral signatures at different times of the year. Previous work in such systems has shown that as well as the near infrared (NIR) band which is sensitive to green vegetation, the shortwave infrared (SWIR) band is necessary to monitor the seasonal pattern of pasture biomass. Also, dairy paddocks are typically small (1 to 4 ha). An operational system designed for near real-time delivery of pasture biomass information approximately weekly to end-users, would be therefore restricted to the commercially available broad-band high-resolution sensors which have a SWIR band and have the possibility of acquiring 2-3 images per week. In this paper we explore changes in the spectral response of intensively managed dairy pasture systems in the Waikato region of New Zealand using SPOT-4 and -5 satellite images across multiple growing seasons. We show that the limited spectral information that is available from such sensors can be enhanced by aggregating spectral information to the paddock scale, and integrating the pattern of all paddocks on the farm with knowledge of on-farm management practices.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Conference Website: https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/pub?list=BRO&pid...
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/35421
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