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RSS FeedsRemote Sensing, Vol. 13, Pages 4132: The Relationship between Satellite-Derived Vegetation Indices and Live Weight Changes of Beef Cattle in Extensive Grazing Conditions (Remote Sensing)

 
 

15 october 2021 11:29:18

 
Remote Sensing, Vol. 13, Pages 4132: The Relationship between Satellite-Derived Vegetation Indices and Live Weight Changes of Beef Cattle in Extensive Grazing Conditions (Remote Sensing)
 


The live weight (LW) and live weight change (LWC) of cattle in extensive beef production is associated with pasture availability and quality. The remote monitoring of pastures and cattle LWC can be achieved with a combination of satellite imagery and walk-over-weighing (WoW) stations. The objective of the present study is to determine the association, if any, between vegetation indices (VIs) (pasture availability) and the LWC of beef cattle in an extensive breeding operation in Northern Australia. The study also tests a suite of VIs along with variables such as rainfall and Julian day to predict the LWC of breeding cows. The VIs were calculated from Sentinel-2 satellite imagery over a 2-year period from a paddock with 378 cattle. Animal LW was measured remotely using a weighing scale at the water point. The relationship between VIs, the LWC, and LW was assessed using linear mixed-effects regression models and random forest modelling. Findings demonstrate that all VIs calculated had a significant positive relationship with the LWC and LW (p < 0.001). Machine learning predictive modelling showed that the LWC of breeding cows could be predicted from VIs, Julian day, and rainfall information, with a Lin`s Concordance Correlation Coefficient of 0.62 when using the leave-one-month-out cross-validation. The LW and LWC were greater during the wet season when VIs were higher compared to the dry season (p < 0.001). Results suggest that the remote monitoring of pasture availability, the LWC and LW is possible under extensive grazing conditions. Further, the use of VIs and other readily available data such as rainfall can be used to predict the LWC of a breeding herd in extensive conditions. Such information could be used to increase the productivity and land management in extensive beef production. The integration of these data streams offers great potential to improve the monitoring, management, and productivity of grazing or cropping enterprises.


 
58 viewsCategory: Geology, Physics
 
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