How does Pasture.io measure pasture 🍀 with satellites?

Learn how Pasture.io uses satellites to measure pasture growth on farms across the world.


There are three important parts to hands-off pasture measuring. Yes, you heard right. You do not have to walk or drive your farm weekly to attain pasture measurements anymore!

We automatically combine a range of data sources in a machine learning environment to deliver pasture measuring to your computer. From here we can measure pasture growth rates and the quantity of pasture in a paddock.

Read on to learn about these sources and how they're combined:

1. Paddock Activities

2. Satellite Images

3. Local Weather

4. Automation

5. Summing Up


1. Paddock Activities

Arguably one of the most important pieces to remote pasture measuring is Paddock Activities. You see, satellite images on their own have limitations.

Namely that satellite pasture measuring services such as LIC Space, and Pastures from Space (PfS+) severely struggle with pasture covers greater than 2500KgDM/ha and struggle when targeting lower residuals below 2000KgDM/ha.

Satellite image of a dairy farm (Robin Hill, our founder's family farm) showing the variance in pasture cover within each paddock.


Pasture.io is different from every other satellite pasture measuring service, as this is where Paddock Activities step in.

We use grazing events, fertiliser applications, and paddock profiling such as whether the paddock is irrigated or not to deliver the most accurate satellite pasture measuring service available.

This does add some discipline and responsibility in making sure your paddock activities are up to date, but no more than recording where your livestock will graze on the whiteboard for everybody to see.

The best way to get satellite pasture measuring to hum is to enter paddock activities such as grazing and fert events into the app regularly.


2. Satellite Images

Satellite imagery is an important piece of information that is fed into the machine learning environment.

It is often confused that satellite imagery is all that is needed to measure pasture covers. This is wrong.

Satellite imagery has limitations as explained above under Paddock Activities. The amazing part is that we overcome any limitations with extra pieces of data (think pieces of a puzzle).

Daily leaf emergence is generated alongside pasture covers and growth rates in Pasture.io.

3. Local Weather

And last, but not least in the quest for remote pasture measuring is Local Weather information!

This information helps feed the models not so much for pasture cover, but with pasture growth rates.

Combine weather with paddock activities and satellite images and VOILA! the limitations of satellite imagery are overcome for producing excellent pasture measuring results.

4. Automation

The fourth piece to Pasture.io's satellite pasture measuring is AUTOMATION.

You see, gone are the days of laborious weekly farm walks and hello to an automated service where you don't need to step foot into a paddock.


Local weather information automatically streams into the app and used in the pasture models.

Our service downloads all information required. Information including your local weather information, satellite images, and your paddock activities. It then combines this information in proprietary models and generates the results that yield many farmers profit.

Twice a day in the evening and early morning we run the models. These models look for all the latest information and generate pasture covers, growth rates and leaf emergence for each paddock.

5. Summing Up

With all the bits of information, we collect automatically and run the models multiple times a day. We do this on infrastructure that is closest to our farmers for delivering timely and valuable results.

Sounds simple right? Well, not exactly - this has taken years of collaboration with leading farmers, institutions, and industry bodies while fostering long-lasting partnerships to develop a service that continues to produce outstanding results in the satellite pasture measuring space.

Be a Pioneer and join the farming revolution today or read about the accuracy of Pasture.io's satellite measurements here.