Kikuyu grass is a high yielding C4 species capable of producing well over 20 t DM/ha.year. Yet the actual average pasture utilisation on commercial farms is estimated at only a third or less of that amount. Remote sensing and advanced data analytics for pasture monitoring provides a novel opportunity to revert this and unlock the potential of Kikuyu-based pastures for the Australian dairy industry.
This project explores how spatial and temporal variations of pasture cover can be captured through satellite-derived data and combined with other pieces of information to assist tactical (daily-weekly) grazing and feeding decision making on farm, resulting in improved pasture utilisation (grass into milk).
The project involves a combination of research methods including real-time data acquisition from commercial farms, experimental controlled research, and dynamic simulation modelling to develop new methods for maximising growth and quality of Kikuyu-based pastures.