The Remote Sensing Pastures Project


Groundcover at your fingertips: Remote sensing and satellite imagery for informed natural resource management.


The Remote Sensing Pastures Project is an initiative that seeks to revolutionise pasture management through the application of remote sensing technology. This project addresses the challenges faced by farmers in maintaining optimal groundcover levels, particularly in the context of declining rainfall and unpredictable weather patterns in Western Australia.

The primary objective of the Remote Sensing Pastures Project is to combat wind erosion by ensuring a minimum of 50% groundcover on crop and pasture paddocks, especially outside of the growing season. By utilising satellite imagery, this innovative approach allows for precise monitoring of groundcover levels, enabling informed decisions to prevent erosion. The project aims to provide accessible and user-friendly solutions for our members through free, online technology. 

To achieve this, carefully selected demonstration sites have been established across the region that represent a range of soil types. Monthly satellite imagery is collected during the summer of 2021/2022, and this valuable data is processed to understand groundcover levels on farm, which are then shared with participating farmers. A series of resources are created and shared with members, so they can better understand and work with their current groundcover situations. Equipped with accurate information, land managers can make informed decisions regarding pasture management strategies. This may involve actions such as relocating livestock to areas with higher groundcover or implementing alternative management practices once the 50% threshold is met.

The Remote Sensing Pasture project strives to establish effective pasture management practices, safeguard soil health, and optimise livestock production and profitability in Western Australia.

Commencement: 2021 | Completion: 2023

Funding body(s): This project received funding from the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund

Project Lead Organisation: West Midlands Group

Collaborators: Corrigin Farm Improvement Group (CFIG), Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)


Useful Resources


HOW TO: Monitor Groundcover Across Your Farm using Australian NationalMap

HOW TO: Assess Soil Ground Cover in Your Paddock


Producer Case Studies


Maintaining and managing groundcover is a critical component of healthy and sustainable farming, providing protection against soil erosion and promoting soil health. However, monitoring groundcover can be a challenging and time-consuming task, particularly for farmers with large farming systems, paddocks, and variable soil types. Satellite imagery has emerged as a powerful online tool for monitoring groundcover, providing farmers with up-to-date information about the condition of their land. National Maps is an online map-based tool that offers users easy access to spatial data from government agencies. It enables data sharing by various government bodies to support innovation in commerce and communities. The agriculture industry is just one of many that can utilise the data shared within National Maps.

Producer Case Studies will be uploaded in the near future.


Want to get involved?

Get in touch with our Mixed Farming Systems Officer, Melanie Dixon.

Mob: 0459 353 840


Mandurah local Melanie completed a Bachelor of Science in Animal Health and Science from Murdoch University in 2020. New to the agricultural industry, Melanie is passionate about supporting positive and viable innovations in mixed farming. She has a particular interest in preparing the farming community for future disruptions in a rapidly changing industry.